A Look at Life Under Quarantine

Co-written with Eliza D. ’21

The age of COVID-19 has students and teachers alike adjusting their lives to a new reality. Whether it’s missing friends, being upset over the cancellations of the spring trimester or being stressed and anxious over this seemingly never-ending situation, everyone at Northwest and around the world are feeling the effects of this pandemic.

A survey was sent out to Northwest students asking how their routines and lives have been changed from this pandemic. As we went through the results, we noticed that many people shared similar thoughts and emotions. Everyone was missing life before quarantine, but also were gaining a newfound appreciation for the simpler things. For example, some noted that they missed walking in the halls and saying hello to students and teachers. Other students miss going to their classes, lunch, and being able to hug and laugh with their friends. Overall, the survey revealed how much students are ready to have their lives go back to normal. Finding the highlights of a dire situation was helpful, but it doesn’t replace the experiences and time people are missing during the quarantine.

There was a spectrum of answers in how students motivate themselves to get up, do online classes, and be productive. A handful of students said that their normal routine worked with the remote learning style. Some students said that scheduling out a routine helped them stay productive when they needed to be. The rest described developing a routine as something that they were still working on or were just dealing with as it comes. This is expected, as it’s hard to focus on schoolwork when the world around you has changed so much. Hopefully, this is something that people will improve on as we continue with the remote learning model for the rest of the year.

In this period of quarantine, students have been taking up different hobbies to pass the time. Baking, cooking, painting, journaling and working out are just some of the many things that Northwest students have reported doing after classes. Other favorite activities, according to student responses, were Zoom movie nights, quality family time, grocery store outings and online interactions with friends. 

Here, we have a sample of how Northwest Upperclassman, Eliza D. ‘21, spends her day in quarantine. 

8:30- 9:00 am

Every weekday, I wake up at 8:30. I usually stay in bed on my phone for a couple of minutes and then get up. I get ready for school and put a normal school outfit on, which helps me keep routine and feel normal. I would usually do my hair and makeup, but I don’t bother for online school. 

9:00-12:30 pm 

From 9:00 to 12:30 I have online school, which I do at the desk in my room. Obviously, online school feels very different from normal school, but I try to stay as motivated and focused as possible. The way my classes are structured ranges from online lectures in Math, to online worksheets in Spanish, to dancing over Zoom in Salsa class. Every class and every day is structured differently, just like it is in normal school. 

12:30- 1:00 pm

Next, I typically eat lunch. Obviously the lunches I make myself are not nearly as good as meals from the NWS Kitchen, but I’ve been trying to cook up some interesting and delicious food. 

1:00- 2:30 pm

After lunch, I like to work out. I am lucky enough to have some exercise machines and weights in my basement, so I use those. Exercising has been the best way for me to maintain energy, motivation, and happiness during quarantine. When everything else feels so strange and unmanageable, exercising daily helps me feel in control. After working out, I always shower and put on a comfy outfit for the rest of the day. 

2:30- 4:00 pm

After working out, I usually do something creative. Most days this has been painting, drawing, reading, things of that nature. I also have spent lots of time sunbathing in my backyard on the days when the weather has been nice. I’m redecorating my bedroom as a quarantine project, so I can use this time to work on that as well. 

4:00- 5:00 pm

Around this time of day, I almost always get super restless. At this point, I have been inside all day so I almost always take this time to go on a walk or do something active outside. Once in a while, I’ll walk to meet a friend for a 6 feet apart conversation or something social of that nature. 

5:00- 7:00 pm

From 5:00 to dinner time, I get my homework done, which rarely takes more than two hours. I usually have a math worksheet or video, a writing assignment for Humanities, a worksheet for Spanish, a dance video to film for Salsa class, an online quiz for Science, and an article to work on. Even though I’m quarantined, I am constantly communicating with my classmates about homework, over both text and social media. There’s still a lot of collaboration that occurs. 

7:00- 8:00 pm

Around 7pm is when I usually have dinner. My family has been eating together every night, and we sometimes cook the meals together, too. My parents work during the day and us kids have online school, so (just like pre-quarantine) dinner is our time to hang out together as a family. 

8:00- 9:00 pm 

After dinner, we typically watch a TV show or movie together. We watched all of Tiger King, and are now watching the current season of Top Chef. 

9:00- 12:00 am 

After family time, I usually watch TV and talk to my friends until I go to sleep. I have been facetiming friends every night since quarantine began, using it as a way to keep in touch, catch up, and maintain social interactions. It obviously isn’t as good as seeing friends in-person, but it’s all we can do for the time being. And once I get tired enough, usually around midnight, I go to bed for school the next day!

From Eliza’s detailed schedule to the survey responses from students, quarantine clearly does not have to be all bad. Whether you have picked up new hobbies, spent more time with your siblings, or simply get more sleep, we are all working to find ways to deal with this difficult situation. Remember we are all in this together, and that at some point, this will all be over. 

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