Everyone’s COVID-19 pandemic experience has been different, but the feelings of isolation and repetitiveness have been nearly universal. While adults have been struggling with work and paying the bills, kids have had their own share of unique struggles, having to cope with losing major events like school dances, graduation, and finishing up the school year with their friends and teachers.

As many students have switched to distance-based learning, they’ve realized the hard way that being stuck at home, isolated from their peers, and doing their assignments with only digital support from their instructors isn’t just challenging — it’s downright depressing, especially during such a formative period in their lives.

15-year-old Etobicoke School of the Arts student Liv McNeil has created a powerful short film called “Numb” depicting the crushing feeling that this sense of forced routine can have on people, especially teens. With “My Tears Are Becoming A Sea” by M83 in the background, Liv shows her routine, from reminiscing about happier times, to handling her emails and schoolwork. Then, a stunning minute-long stop-motion sequence comprised of 480 clips shows her transformation over time as the monotonous routine starts to wear on her, transforming her expression from bored, to depressed, to distraught as she ends the short film in a silent scream.

The film, which was completed for a school project, has received widespread praise, and though Liv doesn’t downplay the impact that the pandemic has had on her, she also acknowledges that everyone’s experience varies, with many people suffering worse than others.

Watch her short film below:


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