Friday, May 29, 2020

COVID Student Journal: This quarantine has shown me who cares about the world and who truly is selfish.

(Student submission Spring 2020)


March 21st (Day One):

            I had just driven back from my freshman, college spring break trip in Destin, Florida. As I am pulling into my own driveway from my three-hour drive, my mother is telling me to leave my bags outside and bringing me a change of clothes. With only slight confusion, I do as she asks. Her silent, yet hectic, actions concerned me. I changed out of my Nike sweatpants and baggy, old t-shirt, and I unpacked my bags outside. The rumors were spreading about the deadly virus, but it is just political tactics, right? Once I get into my house, I am told to go shower, and to not touch anything without making sure my hands were clean. It is such a weird feeling: the pressure of being perfect in your own home. I’ve never felt so unwelcome in my own home before. After being away at the beach and meeting new friends, I felt a rush of guilt pass over me when I realized how selfish traveling really was. Once I took my thorough shower, I sat down with my mom and we had a “deep” conversation, as my generation likes to say. We both came to the agreement that we were going to take this seriously, unlike many of the teenagers my age, who were using this off time as an extra-long spring break. Regardless of whether or not this is a political tactic, we both agreed that potentially putting people at risk for unnecessary reasons was just morally wrong, and against how we were both raised. The coronavirus (covid-19) has completely filled the news and it was scary. We just didn’t know what would or could happen. Many questions popped through everyone’s minds, but the main one I feel all of us were concerned with most was “Will I have a job?”


March 23rd (Day 3):

            With concerns flying left and right about the economy, our personal lives and everyone’s safety, the most we can do is stay home. It feels so useless, stay home and watching television, but honestly it is the best thing to do. Not potentially spreading Covid-19 is the goal, and staying home is the most effective route. While I was looking through my snapchat stories after waking up this morning, I see my friends out partying and drinking. Damn. I’ve never felt so left out before. I felt like I was in seventh grade again, where my mother told me I can’t go play because I didn’t do my homework. I’m not sure why, but in that moment I felt punished. It was such a little thing to be upset over, but the idea that nobody else was taking this seriously and I was made me feel, almost, dumb. Why am I taking this seriously and they aren’t? Regardless, I decided I was going to make the most out of my day. I got out of bed, brushed my teeth, ate some breakfast and started rolling. It was my first day back to work after being out of town, so I was definitely nervous of getting the same look my mother gave me when walking through the office doors.

            Surprisingly, my co-workers were welcoming. I’ve never felt so relieved. They ask me how my trip was and of course I tell them “amazing.” Towards the middle of the work shift we spoke on the elephant in the room. We were all concerned whether we were going to have jobs. Our boss, Jr. Barnard, spoke to all of us and made it pretty clear some things were going to change, but not to worry. He said within the next week we would be getting a new work schedule and that our hours would be reduced. Which honestly, just the idea of having a job at this point is an amazing feeling.


March 27th (Day 7)

            It is Friday, March 27th. We still haven’t received our work schedule, which is okay with me. The later we get this schedule, the more hours I work. I’m skipping some days in this journal because I want to have something to talk about in each entry. Quite honestly, my life is pretty boring, but I’ve never felt so lucky in my entire life. Restaurants are starting to go take out only, places are closing down and the economy is failing. The fact that I have a job is the most amazing feeling. While I am at work our accountant is on edge. We are losing money. Nobody is coming into our showroom, and it’s taking a toll on the business. Her attitude is affecting everyone, including out boss. We were told to close the shop down early today. Around 5 P.M. I get home, I let my dogs out, and back to quarantine it is. How exciting. It has been less than a week of having no social interactions with my friends and here I am, complaining. I decided I was going to use this time to truly focus on myself and to disregard what the other teenagers were doing during this time, because regardless I was doing the right thing. I decided tonight I was going to try and complete as much schoolwork as I could tonight. All of our classes went online after spring break. My teachers have been super understanding about everything, and I think it is because they are struggling to. They have to switch their whole criteria within a week. I knocked out a few math assignments, my English punctuation worksheet and my college success work. Once I finished my homework I stepped outside to talk to my parents. We were watching the news in our garage when we saw the headlines. Corona was near Tallahassee. It was time for everyone to go in full quarantine. There wasn’t any more shopping at Ulta or going to Walmart for fun. By then a few hours had gone by and it was time for some sleep.

March 28th (Day 8)

            I woke up today around 8 A.M. My parents and I both decided to take a stress-free day. No schoolwork, no work, just relaxation. We packed up our bags, put a swimsuit on, and drove over to Saint Marks, where our boat is docked. We were still in quarantine, just thirty miles out of shore. It was so amazing. I forgot how awesome it was to just fish and relax. I surprisingly caught this first fish on the boat, a Sheep Head. I haven’t fished in a while, so I was pretty happy to be catching something. We caught about a total of seven fish, but we could only keep four due to their sizing. The sun beaming onto my skin was very relaxing. I can say with full confidence that I am at my happiest when on the boat. As we came back to shore the sun was going down. It truly is one of the prettiest views, watching a sunset while on the water. My energy was drained, but my hunger was at its fullest. We drove the 45 minutes home and started cooking. We had fish, asparagus, rolls and grits. Today was one of the best days I have had in a while. I was completely relaxed, I came home and showered off the saltwater, and ate some good food. While in the middle of dinner my work schedule was posted. I officially start working every other day, effective immediately. I work Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. By the time I finished eating I was ready to crawl into bed and sleep, and that’s exactly what I did.           


March 31st (Day 11)

            I woke up around 9:30 today. I seem to keep sleeping in later and later, and my sleep schedule is changing. I made some breakfast, brushed my teeth, and threw the tennis ball with my dog Boomer. He can never play too much. He constantly is begging to play outside, while my other dog Bowden is constantly begging for attention. They are extremely cute though, so I can’t complain. Around 1 P.M. I get to work and start making phone calls. I work Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, but I also only work a half day each day. We have to limit the amount of people in the store, and this is the only way they thought was best. The only thing for me to do at work at the moment is to answer phone calls and call people to update their information in our computer, how fun. The days go by longer when I work because of how little there is to do at work, but like I’ve said, there is no room to complain. I finally end my shift around 6 and head home. When I get home my parents are cooking a ham soup. It was extremely tasty. The hardest part about the quarantine, is just not going crazy. The amount of online shopping I have done is absolutely insane. I needed to find some things to do, that won’t cost money and can keep me entertained. I decided tonight to brainstorm out some ideas on what some productive things would be to do. I came up with a few ideas such as making tee shirt prints, drawing, painting, and redecorating/cleaning my room (yes, I actually enjoy cleaning sometimes). I went on Pinterest and found some inspiration and was ready to start my projects the next morning. I went to bed around 12 A.M.


April 1st (Day 12)

            Today is the first day that shops truly closed down. Many restaurants closed, my brothers and sisters lost their jobs. The unemployment site got so backed up that it shut people out halfway through their filing. The world is having a panic and I am stuck at home painting a picture and making tee shirt designs. I decided today the first thing I would do is to clean my room. I always feel more inspired to create in a clean area. I washed my laundry, I made my bed, vacuumed my floors, and actually cleaned out my closet. I went through all of my clothes and made a pile of clothes I don’t wear anymore. My friends and I made a clothing account to sell our clothes and make a few extra bucks. It also gave us a reason to drive around town. I ended up selling quite a few items and made roughly $80. My whole day was consumed of cleaning, but I wasn’t mad about it. I felt so good after having a clean space to work with. I decided to do some more schoolwork tonight and make it a fully productive day. I knocked out some assignments that weren’t due for a few more days, so it was a good feeling being ahead. It definitely takes off some stress. I personally hate online classes, which is why I didn’t take them in the first place. I have no motivation to complete my assignments, I like having a teacher face to face. This is why I most likely will not be taking summer classes. I can’t learn my watching a YouTube video, I learn by asking questions and having a face to face conversation about the subject I am learning. Regardless of how I learn, this is how my semester will be ending so I need to make the most of it.

April 5th (Day 16)

            I have been in quarantine for sixteen days, and time is flying by. We are already 1/3rd of the way through this year and I feel as if New Years was yesterday. I am trapped inside my house, only leaving to go to work and I feel alone; but so does everyone else. I broke up with my boyfriend today. We argued because he is hanging out with friends and being extremely unsafe. I told him numerous amounts of times that he is being selfish, but he said he didn’t care. So, I ended things with him, yet somehow, he tried to blame me? He said I didn’t tell him directly and that it was my fault for not explaining to him the severity of this whole mess. Am I his mother? Do I really need to tell you to stay home when any channel you put on is talking about quarantine? It was so crazy. I am not going to be blamed for someone else’s idiocy. Anyways, I carried on my day just like I usually would. I painted a beautiful mountain landscape for my grandmother. It took me about six hours, so it helped the time go by pretty fast. I also threw the tennis ball with Boomer, and I watched some television. I’ve also been working out each day. I try to at least get in a slight workout each day, to keep me from gaining weight. I do about 100 sit ups, and 50 crunches on each side and straight forward. I’ve also been doing as many squats as possible, but my knees do not like me. I started a new Netflix show called the “Outer Banks.” It is pretty good so far, and the main character is extremely cute, which makes it pretty easy to watch.

April 10th (Day 21)

            It has almost been three full weeks of being in quarantine. People are still out partying, treating the virus as if it is a political tactic. The weather has been beautiful outside, but for some reason I find myself always indoors. I decided today I would lay out and get some sun. It was extremely relaxing; it takes your mind off of life. I laid out for 3 hours while the sun was at its peak, listening to country music and drinking beer. I came back inside around 3 o’clock and took a shower, then proceeded to make some t-shirts. I print out an image online onto t-shirt transfer paper, then iron it on. It is very fun to transform my clothes, which is kind of what I want to do in life. I would like to do some sort of design and fashion when I get older. I believe I can do it with the right determination. I have had trouble figuring out the major I want to do, but I am hoping within quarantine I can get some clarity. With less than a month away from my first semester of college ending, I feel I need to decide soon on what my major will be.

April 18th (Day 29)

            Almost a full month has gone by of staying cooped up inside these four walls. I have the same schedule. I wake up, go onto Tik-Tok, sit outside and eat breakfast, throw the ball with Boomer, and then either go to work or get some chores or schoolwork done. The only difference in my days is whether I choose to bore myself with work, school or chores. I cannot complain because I know other people have it worse, but I also don’t want to invalidate my feelings. Even the richest celebrities have a right to feeling down during all this. It is hard to stay open minded when you are closed off from the world. Today I have work from 1 P.M. to 6 P.M.

            There isn’t much to say about my work considering I literally just sit at the front desk all day. I get home and chit chat with my mom and stepdad, and then head to my room. The most exciting news I have today is that I signed my lease to move out. I keep making lists of things I need to buy and bring to my new apartment. I’ve watched countless videos of other people move out so I can get an idea of what I am walking into. I’m beyond excited to start a new chapter of my life. It will be a lot of budgeting and responsibility, but I feel I am ready for it.


April 25th (Day 36)

            I hope my math is right on the days, I honestly haven’t been keeping a good count. The days all mesh together. This is my last journal entry, therefor I felt I would explain an overall summary of the past month. The world is crazy, yet my home is so peaceful. Yes, I am bored majority of the time, but I also feel this was the most needed thing in my life. Quarantine has helped me gather my feelings together on things I felt I had no time to even think about. I have had multiple self-evaluations, which helped me decide what I truly want in life. I’ve became closer with my friends and family, and I’ve also grown apart from people I thought I was close to. This quarantine has shown me who cares about the world and who truly is selfish. That sounds very harsh, but at times like this it is better to be blunt with people. Quarantine has given me a different outlook on people I know and has shown me who some people truly are. I have learned some amazing lessons within the past month, lessons I will have to keep learning throughout my life. Life gives people so many challenges, and I truly believe it is how you overcome them that shows the type of person you are. It is not always the destination that is important. I am more than excited to get my life back on track, but I have never been happier to get a break from the world. I hope everyone has grown from this quarantine, and took full advantage of it like I have.