I cannot lie when I say this quarantine has been the best and worst possible thing to happen, for me personally rather. I have finally gotten the mental break I needed to calm down and just relax. I finally have time to paint, which I would always put off until winter or spring break. I have all the time in the world to create, and that is what I love to do, although I do make time for it during the year, I now have all the time possible. I have felt so incredibly creative, yet in such an art block. There are some days that I paint all day or take pictures all day, and then there are other days where all I want to do is lay in bed and watch movies. It is a constant high and low of creativity to say the least. Another positive thing that has come out of it, is my desire to live my life to the absolute fullest after quarantine. My friends and I never want to take a single second for granted because we are only a teenager for so long, unfortunately, we were robbed of the best time of the year, but that will not stop me from enjoying life. If there is anything I have realized during this time, it is who my real friends are because not everyone checks in on each other enough. I knew that a lot of people I talked to, did not check in on me, and I am okay with that because they saw me everyday and they do not have to. But, especially now, I feel as though everyone should be checking in on all of their friends. This is such an unknown time and some people are really struggling being away from friends and the normal routine. So, more people should check in on their friends, but they do not, showing who really cares. This is just how I feel. Not all my friends check in on each other or me all the time and that is okay, I cannot make them check in on me.
I have been trying my best to look at the brighter side of things, but I cannot hide the fact that social distancing has made me realize everything I took for granted and how much I should have done before. Although sophomore year is not the most important year of high school, the memories that come with it are the best part. I have missed out on so many memories my friends and I were going to make during spring break, at the end of the year, summer, etc… Right now, I do not even know if I will have a summer because a pandemic does not just go away so quickly. The worst part is that, if they do release everyone before summer, the curve could sky rocket again just like the Spanish Flu. More people died the second time than the first. My worst fear is spreading it to the people I love the most, which is probably a common fear for everyone, but it is still scary. Not being able to physically be next to my friends and talk has been the worst part. I feel like I saw them all yesterday, yet I have not seen them in over a month. Everything is weird right now. Not being around the people that make me feel so inspired has been the part that has killed me the most. My friends are the people that keep me going, and not having them around is so draining.
This entire pandemic has not felt real, even though this is my reality. I have read about diseases spreading and killing so many people in history books, but living it is a whole different story. We are all apart of history right now. We are living what students in several years will be learning about, discussing about, creating projects about. I will be telling my kids one day about how I lived through that. I will be explaining to them what social-distancing was, how the economy was failing, how many people’s lives were taken, how quickly it spread. That is something that will forever be mind blowing to me. I remember the first day the state was preparing for the schools to close and all sit down restaurants. The last Monday the school was open for students to collect what they needed, I went, with two friends, to Dunkin after we picked up what we needed and we all sat inside for a while and after about an hour, they started to stack the chairs and politely asked us to leave. That’s when I knew that things were changing and they were changing fast. It also hit me, that this is real.
After about a month into quarantine I have had a lot of time to think, especially about the future. The future will never be the same. School will feel so weird. Hanging out with a lot of people will make me feel on edge. Social interaction will take a while to get used to. After quarantine, people are going to think twice about going to a restaurant, that used to be so normal to go to. The normal we had, we will never have again. The normal school, the normal hanging out, the normal grocery shopping, the normal going to the movies, the normal going to the mall, the normal traveling. How long, after we are released, will it be until it is “normal” again? By the time it is possibly back to normal, I could be on my way to college. It breaks my heart that so many people missed the biggest moments of their lives due to this disease. Everything is messed up for so many people and we cannot change it.
A friend of mine told me recently that the football season may be cancelled and my heart broke right there. The friend that told me this has been dreaming for the day he could play for varsity. That dream could be held out for another year, and he would be robbed of one whole year of football, which had been his entire life. I was supposed to document my junior year through pictures and capture some of his big moments on the field, but if it is cancelled, I will not be able to. The thing that hurts the most is the possibilities that could be, but cannot, because of this pandemic.