As a 15-year-old girl, I wanted to share my opinion and experience as a youth dealing with COVID-19 and social distancing. Opportunities we have worked so hard for have been taken away. Some examples of these opportunities have been senior graduation, music concerts, sports events and race competitions. I am involved in showing horses and competing in the rodeo events. These opportunities are slowly being canceled, as well.  

I know other kids, just as I, have felt this disappointment after all the hard work we have done. As I listen to one of my favorite songs, “I Believe in America” by Chris LeDoux, I think it applies and gives us hope in our life right now.  

In the song it says, “This country’s seen some hard times,” and right now is a hard time for our health, the economy, business owners, youth and everyone all around the world. It continues to say, “We’ve all been divided” — in quarantines and social distancing. “Now, if you read the papers, or listen to the news these days, sometimes there don’t look like there’s much hope left for the good ol’ USA.” We don’t want to give up — there is always hope! 

Canceling these opportunities take away our hope. Chris Ledoux says it best, “Why does it always take the hard times to get people back together?” We need these events like the rodeos and parades to bring us together and give us hope! Another line of his song says, “And she’s gonna make her comeback, yes sir, just you wait and see.” We will overcome this virus, but we need to get on with life and keep going. 

The cowboy motto is “Cowboy up,” and that’s what we need to do. Rodeo is how all these cowboys and cowgirls make their income, and taking that away isn’t right. We need to be able to go out and celebrate the traditions of our country with our community, friends and family. Rodeo and parades are a big part of our community, and we need to keep them going to show that we can still come together and help one another through these tough times. 

I encourage our leaders to keep America strong by sticking to our traditions and celebrations. We can make our comeback by keeping these events going. Just as Chris Ledoux said, “I believe in America … One nation under God, still proud and strong! I’m proud to be in America and I don’t believe you can keep America down for long!”

Emma Stowe is a 15-year old living in Taylorsville. She is on the Salt Lake County 4H Teen Council.