Back in March, when our school closed because of the threat of COVID-19, I don’t think anyone knew how long we’d stay quarantined. I remember the teachers announcing our two-week break and thinking we would finally get some relief from school; I did not expect to spend five months stuck inside my house.
I should’ve loved online school. I’ve always been an introverted person and I never really liked talking to people unless I’m already friends with them. Now I get to be away from the stressful class environment and instead be in my own house, doing work in my room.
But over time this seclusion felt less like a comfortable break and more like being stranded on an island, far away from society. Being held in my house without a stable connection to the communities I valued hurts. I have a group of friends that I skate with afterschool. Back when we were actually going, skating with them after school was a relief from the day. I got to hang out with my friends and explore downtown Durham, we got some fresh air after being cooped up in a classroom all day, it was important to us and we lost that.
When schools shut down, everything shut down. I didn’t really notice that until summer started. Even though it was hot, after being inside for almost four months I was ready to do anything, I was happy to go to the grocery store because at least I wasn’t inside. When quarantine started, life pretty much stopped. I love sitting at home, and I hated being made to go out and do stuff. I cannot sit through a whole movie, they are too long and I can’t keep up anyway. For the first time in years, I wanted to go to a movie theatre even if it killed me. And even though now I’m sick of my family, I remember going on walks at the Eno as a group. I am not a fan of nature, I think there are so many better places to walk then a forest, but when I heard the Eno closed because we went into quarantine, I was crushed.
The biggest thing I missed was ‘real-life’. Being stuck at home with the same five things to do makes your brain feel like Jello, and when you have only the same few people to do those things with it makes you feel crazy.