A lot of things are uncertain for Nevada High School Senior Macy Filbrandt right now.

Like her classmates, Filbrandt is unsure when the COVID-19 pandemic will end. She’s uncertain about whether prom will happen. She doesn’t know if there will be a high school graduation ceremony at the end of May.

But one thing the current situation has convinced her of is that her career path of choice, health care, is precisely the right one for her.

“After seeing this (pandemic) unfold, it just makes me want to get out there in the health care field more,” Filbrandt said. “I want to be part of a team that is not only trying to save lives but is on the cutting edge of new medical information.”

Filbrandt is starting her health care career right now as a CNA at Story County Senior Care in Nevada. And even though her high school classes have stopped, Filbrant is still taking some DMACC courses online through the Ames campus.

She plans to continue the DMACC Nursing Program on the Boone Campus next fall and hopes to stay living at home and working at Story County Senior Care while she does that.

But, will her classes start in the fall? She said that’s another unknown.

“If COVID-19 sticks around, I believe it will have an impact on the start of nursing school. But in this situation, I believe that future nurses and nurses now will have a better understanding of this virus,” she said.

When she’s not working at Senior Care or doing work for her DMACC classes, Filbrandt said the current pandemic shutdowns have certainly changed the way her life would have been playing out at this time.

“I would be getting things ready for my graduation party, and I would have been getting my dress for prom,” she said.

Nevada’s prom is still set for May 2.

“I was hoping to get my dress in late February or early March, but that quickly got changed. I believe that if prom gets canceled, Nevada will definitely reschedule it … it all comes down to how long this pandemic holds out,” she said.

Filbrandt calls the pandemic a “definite gamechanger” when it comes to her class’s senior year.

“In the beginning (of the pandemic), I was very worried about how I would ever graduate if I am missing school for three weeks (and now probably longer).” But an email from Nevada High School Principal Kody Asmus to the senior class eased her mind.

“I am proud of all of you for the way you have handled yourself through adversity over the past few years, which has looked a little different for each of you, but a common theme for your class is that you always seem to land on your feet and grow from adverse situations,” the principal’s email read.

“I have put full faith in the Nevada Community School District that everything will work out in due time,” Filbrandt said.

“My hope is that I can go back to school and finish the year out strong,” she said. “If it comes to the point that we don’t have a graduation ceremony, then I am sure it will definitely be rescheduled. The news tells all of us many new things each day, and right now, I just hope that we can get back to school and try to obtain a normal lifestyle again.”

In the meantime, she said, her family tries to pass the time each day by getting outdoors on their acreage and spending time with the farm animals. “Little activities, such as board games, painting or watching a movie really help,” she noted.

Filbrandt also believes that even though she’s still kind of a kid, she is learning valuable life lessons from the pandemic. “I have learned that we take a lot for granted. We really don’t see that we have it all. I have learned that when everyone is running, that means it’s time to slow down.

“Thanks to COVID-19,” she continued, “I have had a lot of free time, free time to spend with family, be outside, watch the sunset and paint. Slowing down and seeing what is around us is sometimes what we need.”

“Lastly, I have learned that we need to give the planet a break. Even though COVID-19 isn’t something to celebrate, it has done some amazing things for the planet as people stay inside. The Venice canals have become clear and fish and dolphins have started to swim through the canals again. In Hong Kong, air pollution has dropped down by a third. Giving the earth a chance to breathe is also rewarding to watch in this hectic time.”

Filbrandt has also become one of her age group’s most robust social media advocates when it comes to taking the warnings about COVID-19 seriously. “We don’t know a lot about COVID-19; if you feel sick, stay home,” she urges. “Staying indoors may be boring, but we are doing it for the elderly, immuno-compromised, and the children.”