One-Year Reflection In Quarantine

Wow, what a year! On March 13, 2020, I walked out of Padua for the last normal day. I was elated. It was the first warm spring day in a while and I could hear the birds chirping. There seemed to be this electricity in the air as everyone buzzed about what we were going to do with their two weeks off.

The day before March 13, the governor declared a state of emergency in Delaware, so we got out of school at 1:40 to allow teachers to plan virtual learning. I stayed after school a bit and gathered a few books from my locker. I hugged a few friends goodbye (which was a bad idea looking back) and walked out.

I was especially excited to have time off because the two months before quarantine were pretty stressful for me. I had tech week and performances for two musicals, and I also caught the flu. I was drained both physically and emotionally, and I was at the end of my rope. Two weeks off seemed like an amazing idea.

On the way home, my dad stopped off to check on his car at the mechanic. It turns out that the mechanic parked it on the side of the street and it was towed. What a start to this whole mess of a year!

For the first few months, I kept thinking that quarantine was about to end and this pandemic would suddenly be over. I never thought that it would go past a month, two months, spring break, graduation, summer, Thanksgiving, and definitely not past Christmas. 

After Christmas, I learned to accept that this is happening and it’s going to be like this for a while. Even with a vaccine, things won’t be fully back to normal for a long time.

Before I came to accept the pandemic, I learned to adapt to it. I attended virtual classes and virtual theatre rehearsals. I found safe ways to do the things I loved like performing a play in the park and meeting friends around a bonfire outside. 

I coped by picking up many hobbies. I spent weeks obsessed with needlepoint, knitting, cooking, and making bread.

And, all in all, things have been pretty okay. I have been healthy and my family and friends have been healthy. 

There are even some parts of quarantine that I want to continue after everything blows over. I like having personal space sometimes, I like when people stay home from events if they are sick, and I like wearing a mask in public bathrooms. 

I also realized some things that I miss about the days before quarantine, which I never thought were important before. I miss connecting through touch. I miss hugging my friends and family. I miss walking with my friends down to Trolley Square before rehearsals. I miss holding a railing as I walk down the Padua stairs.

Even though COVID is extremely scary, I know I will be alright. I learned to accept this situation and adapt to it, and I have even begun to thrive.

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