March 12th was probably the weirdest day of my life.
Like most people, I thought COVID-19 was just a really interesting piece of news. After all, it has a low death rate, and people my age aren’t susceptible. I am an avid news reader (for better or for worse) and I thought that this was just a fascinating if not grim reassurance that we are still human and vulnerable despite our advancements as a society.
But then schools started to close and my mom started disinfecting the whole house.
We got the call that we would be doing online school the following week. That next day, Friday the 13th (oh boy) was very weird. It had that feeling right before the school year ends with the excitement and the sadness of leaving everyone behind for a couple of months. But it also had a doomsday feel to it. One of my friends and I debated what song is the most appropriate to listen to during the end of the world. The musical I had worked 8 weeks on was just canceled halfway through our run. There was a quiet hum of both exasperation and uneasiness.
Fast-forward to Friday the 20th, and it has not been going well. Of course, the teachers have all been doing a great job of putting everything online and trying to teach us from home. But that wasn’t it. I was sick. I don’t know if it was COVID, but it really felt like I only had two brain cells.
My daily schedule for the past couple days looked like this: Wake up, pretend everything is normal, eat breakfast, pretend everything was normal, try to figure out which of the two computers in the house I could use without infringing someone’s work, and work for the rest of the day. Managing my own time was actually kind of fun, but I wasn’t very good at it. I would sit down and ail over assignments for 8 hours straight without taking breaks my brain desperately needed. I was giving myself needless anxiety over little things I wouldn’t even worry about in physical school.
Ah, then there were the family members. You know how the elderly are at the highest risk age-group wise? And how someone could have COVID but be asymptomatic and just be a carrier? Well, I guess my uncle’s family didn’t. Because they have a one-year-old turning two sometime during Spring Break and are still having the party. With three 70+-year-olds there as well. Not that they aren’t “flattening the curve”, but they can’t be helping it.
And then there was my grandma. She is generally a happy person, but she has been recovering from surgery for a while now and hasn’t really been able to get out of the house. And now that the whole world was on time-out for not heeding signs of a pandemic in the past, she was getting lonely, understandably. Mostly, I just feel really bad for her. At least I’m staying home with my brother and both of my parents; she has the company of a manic depressive dog and a sling she still can’t take off her right arm.
But here’s some food for thought my dad pitched to me the morning of Wednesday the 18th: With the technology and entertainment we can access right from home with relative ease, there’s no better time in human history to have to self-quarantine.