Stories From a Quaran-teen, Part Two

Michaela Boyd

We’re now in week 5 of social distancing and quarantine, and it’s honestly feeling like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. I have tried my absolute best to avoid going on social media and overreading the news reports about the Coronavirus for more than a couple minutes at a time, but it’s a bit challenging when that is all you see, besides “Tiger King” memes. 

Life will never be the same again after this global pandemic. Eventually, we will get to have full restaurant service and be able to go to Disneyland again, but for now, we have to sit and wait for when that day will come. The United States Surgeon General Vice Admiral Jerome Adams stated that this pandemic, especially this week, will be Gen Z’s “9/11 or Pearl Harbor Moment.” 

That’s extremely scary.

Every year on September 11, my Facebook and Twitter feeds are filled with Gen X and older millennials describing in detail what they were doing on that fateful day. When December 7 rolls around, my grandparents and older relatives share their memories of when they got the news of the naval base bombing. I think about how in 10-20 years from now, March 13 will become synonymous with separation and fear.

 I was at work when I found out school was closing, and I felt absolutely heartbroken and shattered. I cried in the walk-in freezer while I was at work because I knew deep in the back of my mind we weren’t going back. My friends and I had planned to go out for a birthday in the group that night at Olive Garden and I am so glad that we didn’t cancel. Leaving that night felt like a punch to the heart. I knew I was not going to be seeing my friends for a very long time and I tend to rely on social interaction for happiness and that was taken away from me. 

Last night, I had a chat with my friend Ty about ways to cope with being physically distant from others. He brought up some great points, but the one that stuck with me is that right now, we as a society are surviving and not living. Human beings thrive with being near other humans and when that is taken away, we struggle. Big time. Instead of crying about how this isn’t fair, even though it really is not and there’s no shame in an occasional cry, we should be focused on how to live in survival situations. It’s all about finding a new balance, and that doesn’t mean feeling the best every day or doing something remarkable with this time.