Welcome to the Apocalypse Day 8 folks! I’m going insane.
Last Friday, my school district ordered for all schools to switch to at-home, online schooling to combat the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The school had an odd tinge in the air, a mixture of fear and excitement from almost everybody on campus. It had been raining all week, so it felt like the very beginning of a horror movie.
It started on Thursday when they cut all of the arts and sports activities for the rest of the spring semester. Both my school show and my show at the community theater were postponed, and my friends’ choir concerts, band concerts, color guard events, and sports games were canceled. Anger and sadness was spread throughout the school and for once, we had a common enemy: a virus we have no capacity to take on.
Then, on Friday, rumors that we were shutting down were circulating. Over the intercom during 4th period, one of the secretaries told all of the teachers to go to the MPR during lunch. They all walked out of that meeting like astronauts swiftly exiting a space ship or Obama and his advisors stepping off of Air Force One. Kids ran up to them and asked them if we were shutting down and they all just nodded.
Students actually cheered while they walked by, some still ran up to them to confirm and then ran back to their groups to celebrate. But mine just stood in shock, whispering to each other, looking at each other, not knowing what to say. We felt like we were living through the beginning of the end.
The feeling of living through something historic is an odd thing. It makes you feel so absolutely small, and so incredibly visible at the very same time. My friends and I were anxiety-stricken and we simply didn’t know what to do with ourselves. When lunch ended and we all said goodbye so we could go to class, I could feel myself locking those goodbyes down, memorizing them. From then on, it felt like I was having a flashback at the beginning of a zombie apocalypse movie.
You know, the ones where its the day the disease hits and the world starts to crumble, and another character in the movie brings you back to reality, and you’re standing in the middle of a really grassy field with a gun strapped behind your back, your hair up in a ponytail, and your body, clothes and face dirt and blood ridden. Just real casual.
It scared me then and it scared me for a few days after that. But since then, I’ve been keeping myself busy and distracted.
That first weekend I let myself feel absolutely everything. Fear, anger, sadness, and more fear. For example, I’m not catholic but I participate in Lent because my dad is and does. Every year I give up soda, sweets and chips, and I did exactly the same this year. Then, the world went into toilet paper and water crises and the Pope canceled Easter, so I started eating all of those things again.
I’ve also kept myself working out. Since I don’t have Aerobics or So Now You Know keeping me active, I’ve been taking my dog on walks and runs with me and doing at-home workouts in my room.
On Monday the school issued a Teacher’s Planning Day, which meant we wouldn’t actually be going to online classes until Tuesday. Tuesday got off to a shaky start but we all figured it out, and by Friday, it be came our new normal. At first, I had some problems with anxiety, but then I started writing again and journaling, face timing friends and texting some classmates, and I felt good again. On Friday, I even went as far as getting up early, taking a shower, and putting makeup and actual clothes on.
For days I had only seen myself with greasy hair (because I touch it so often when I get stressed) and a greasy face, in pajamas all day, every day. When I got ready on Friday, I felt like me again. I felt human. So, that day, I cleaned my room, I face timed friends again, I went outside of the office and interacted with my family, and I even had a photo shoot with myself.
I put on some music and sang, danced, and posed for about an hour, until I was satisfied with the shots I took.
It was a lot of fun and the pictures didn’t come out too bad if I do say so myself. It was a much-needed day off from world anxieties and the stress I felt from not being at school and not having social interaction outside of my family and my dog. Which, side note, my dog has been extra needy since the social isolation orders because he knows we’re home. So every second we don’t spend with him, he barks like he’s saying “I know you’re in there!”
On Saturday, my whole family sat around the TV in the living room, our eyes glued to the screen. We watched our governor, Gavin Newsom, give the orders for the California lock down. This didn’t really change anything for my family, since we hadn’t been out of the house for days, except to go stock up on groceries for the coming weeks and to walk our dog and ourselves. But it made things real.
The following news reports looked like ones right out of more apocalypse, end-of-the-world movies, in that they almost looked fake. They were so dramatic and so boldly edited that it looked like Universal-filmed news reel.
My family has been following orders and we don’t plan to change that anytime soon. The only one who leaves the house is my dad, and that’s either because he’s going to work (he works in the medical field) or because he’s going grocery shopping.
We’ve been lucky in that way, that we don’t have to worry about my parents losing their jobs. With my dad and mom both being “of necessary business” (my mom is a history teacher), we are going to be okay. But this whole thing still makes me anxious and, admittedly, a little stir crazy.
Wherever you are, I hope you’re staying safe and inside your homes, if the government has ordered for you to do so. Social distancing has been really hard, but I hope that things have a way of looking up for you and or everyone else who needs it to. Take it as a time to enjoy your family or spend time on those passions that life just got way too busy for.
I can promise that that’s what I’ll be doing. In all this madness, I’ve seen that this horrible virus has gifted us something we never really had before: Time. Everything I was stressing about has been moved to a later date and been moved to an online platform, where I have more time to complete it.
I now have the ability to work on my Spanish, mess around with my Ukulele, and write on here, with the occasional break of reading a book and playing some Sims. That being said, this is the first entry into my “Social Distancing Diary of 2020” category, the main category I’ll be posting on while we’re all stuck here at home. I’ll be posting at least once a week, maybe more, but who knows?
I hope you guys are all well, with plenty of food, necessities, and board games to fill up your non-school and work days. I’m off to go watch a movie with my mom! I’ll see you next time.