Beginning of Quarantine

Saturday, March 21st

If you would’ve told me at the beginning of March that the coronavirus spread like wildfire in my area and that schools and jobs shut down or went online, I would’ve told you that you were crazy. Even just a mere week ago, everything was so much different than it was today. I was on Encounter, cut off from society in a way, having no idea the severity of the coronavirus. It was getting so severe that they had to cut the retreat short. Plus, I was informed Padua was switching to online classes the next few weeks, and that Salsthon was cancelled. This was the first moment the coronavirus started to really affect me personally.

From there, the cancellations continued. Volleyball, college visits, and even my part-time job were trying to navigate this new pandemic. I feel like the only thing I talked about with others was the coronavirus and when I turned on the TV, all I saw were updates on it. There were restaurant shutdowns, grocery stores running out of essential items, and a new “social isolation” being encouraged, all as the number of cases and deaths increased. Even a curfew was being enforced in New Jersey. It all seemed so surreal to me. I felt uneasy and nervous- not only for myself but for my family members who were more susceptible to this virus.

Then it was time for the first few days of quarantine. And honestly, it wasn’t too bad for me. My family decided to take this opportunity to go on a fitness kick, and I’ve been loving it. I’ve been going on daily long walks around my neighborhood and doing home workouts. I find it is a great way to channel that anxious energy, and the weather has been amazing recently so I love going on walks outside. It is really nice being able to have some time to relax with myself and my family.

As for school, it gives me something to do which is pretty nice. It is cool waking up and having a sort of plan of what you’re going to do, and school provides that for me. Without having online school, I would definitely be scrolling through TikTok all day. I was nervous that online school was going to be a lot of work, but I really like the way Padua set it up- four 40-minute classes on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, with a break on Wednesday. I find the work that the teachers are giving me as not too difficult.

My workspace for the next few weeks.

I know I am really hyping up my quarantine experience, but there are definitely some cons. First off and most obvious, there is still a global pandemic happening and there are lots of worries in the back of my mind about this virus. Second, I really miss my friends. I went from being able to see them everyday in school or hanging out with them on the weekends to not seeing them at all. We try to FaceTime when we can, but it really isn’t the same as being able to see them in person. 

Third, I am pretty disappointed with the new AP exams due to the coronavirus. From an exam that used to be 3-4 hours long, they are now cramming into one, 45 minute, online test. In this test they are cutting out a lot of units that I have been preparing for. It is really hard for me to wrap my head around this- I have been working so hard in my AP classes all year, moving at a fast pace to cover as much as we can, just so that most of it could be cut out completely? Now it is much more difficult to gain motivation for these classes.

I have no idea what the future holds- I couldn’t even predict all this to happen. But I feel that Padua will close until after spring break. I think it would be a good idea, since after these two weeks of quarantine are up, we only have a week and a half until Spring Break. The online classes seem to be working, and I think it is better to be safe than sorry with the spread of the virus. I really hope the spread starts to slow, and that social distancing works. I would really hate to see events like prom, graduation, and Firefly cancelled because of the coronavirus. But only time will tell…

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