What to do during a quarantine?

By: Emily Peters

Photo Credit: Photo by Joshua Rawson-Harris on Unsplash

To think back to February when everything seemed so normal, hearing stories from China about how a new virus was spreading all around the country, people never thought it would cross the seas and come to the United States. Now here we are, in April living through a world pandemic that we thought would never come to the States. Students from all around the world had to leave their universities, and go home to families. Going home and having to change your whole life around can never be easy, being able to have self motivation to get up and be productive can be very difficult for many college students. Trying to stay connected with friends and family could start to become difficult due to the fact that many people are not able to see one another.  While schools started cancelling many thoughts were running through students minds about how and if school would continue, would graduations, events and sports be cancelled as well. Being a senior is never easy, thinking about everything being your last while in school, now with that being cut short it’s even a worse feeling. 

Marymount is a home away from home for many people, having students come and pack up everything to bring back home could have been a difficult experience for some. For others it could have been the best experience ever due to the fact that they could have missed home. After students being at home for quite some time now, the thoughts going through their heads are probably “when can we go back to school, we are tired of our families being down our throats all the time.” While being home all day students run into the problem of having outside distractions that they have to deal with while trying to have somewhat of their normal college life, like attending zoom classes, working out, and talking with friends. Maggie Ellington a sophomore at the University of Maryland said, “it is very challenging to go through a whole day of online school without having distractions.” Ellington is from Maryland so moving back home when it first started was not a big move back, although this spring semester was her first semester at The University of Maryland. She is very upset that she only got three months to get comfortable and meet new people at what feels like such an uncomfortable place. 

Being a full time student while going to classes all day, working when they can, and even on top of that, being an athlete, students develop a routine that they have and stick to it while being at school. Having to come home and completely change everything that they have done for the past months of being at school can be very challenging. There are a variety of majors that students are taking right now, depending on a student’s major can also play a huge role on how a student is able to perform and attend classes online. Ellie Cassel is a senior nursing major at Marymount. This year she was scheduled to start her internship in the spring, which took place at a hospital. While Cassel got the opportunity to still go in person, she said, “it is not in my family’s best interest to expose myself to this disease as we have a 11 month year old baby in my house while fighting his own illness.” Being home for Cassel all day gives her more opportunities to spend with her baby cousin. She said, “I love spending time with my cousin, I read him many books, play with him and his toys, and help him learn how to walk.” Having something like a baby in the house can at times be somewhat distracting while trying to do school work, but it can also be shown in a positive way to stay distracted from everything going on in the world. As a baby shows such happiness, it gives families a form of joy while experiencing times of need. 

Riley Love is a freshman IT major also attending Marymount. As most of her classes require a computer, this transition to online learning wasn’t much of a change for her other than the fact that she has to be inside the house all day. While being in the house all day Love said that “occasionally I will go down to the water or outside in some way to get a change of scenery.” It is super important for students and people working from home to change up where they are attending classes/working from home. This is because it could give students the feel of changing classes and new environments for people working from home. Being a freshman, Love was not able to get through her first year of college and experienced her first time playing lacrosse at the next level. Love said, “while not being able to do everything I wanted to accomplish as a freshman, I am super excited to come back next year and finish everything I started freshman year.” 

Staying active while going through this crisis is a very important habit to maintain or start doing. This pandemic has taken its toll on this world, but the important thing to remember is to keep your mental health in check. At the start of this many people were still going out like nothing was wrong, but as soon as people started to realize how important this really was people started staying home. Going on long walks, runs, and bike rides have become more popular than ever. Trails, parks, and bike paths have never been so busy. To think a virus had to happen for people to start getting out of their houses and go outside. Like her teammates, Ellie and Riley, Mariel Russ has been staying active everyday. The three girls play lacrosse at Marymount, and while their season was cut short due to this virus, their coaches have made sure to send out workouts for them to participate in every week to make sure they are staying active and continuing to act like they were still in season. The three of them all said that they love to call other teammates while about to do one of the workouts of the week, to virtually do the workout together so they still have the feel of being with their teammates. Being active virtually with teammates is a helpful resource for athletics because it gives them the sense of routine that they still have with their teammates. While many of the team have been staying active, Russ said that, “I call one of my teammates everyday at 2 o’clock to do the workouts given to us, it helps us keep each other accountable for doing the workouts and making sure we do them correctly.” 

Staying on top of school work now can be harder than ever for some students as many students don’t have the self motivation at home that they do at school. It is very easy for students to sit in bed all day and forgo any homework that they know they have. Both Love and Ellington said that, “making a to-do list at the beginning of the week is super helpful because if I were to forget that I have something due on a specific date I can just refer back to my to-do list.” Making a schedule that is easy to access is a very important tool that can be used to make sure everything needing to be done for the week gets done. It is helpful to also carve out hours during the day to make sure a student is focused and have a spot to sit and get work done. While everyone is transitioning to this form of teaching online, many teachers and professors are very accommodating to students that may not be able to learn as well as if they were in a classroom setting. Cassel seems to have a whole different perspective, and said that “it’s hard to do school work because I am home and I’m personally more productive in a library or coffee shops because when I’m home the temptation to do other things is constant.” This seems to be a big problem for many students as they might have siblings that constantly are running around making noises, construction going on near by and/or on one’s house, and even just one’s phone, tv or laptop that students could be investing more time on then doing what needs to be done for school. 

While many Governors have put their states under lockdown, it has made it quite impossible for people to be able to see loved ones and friends. Staying connected with family and friends while experiencing something like this is imperative to keep a normal life right now. While not being able to see people in person, many are reverting to facetimes and using the application called zoom. Zoom has been used for classes that have been in need to go virtual before all this happened. It has now been super popular to connect families from all over to stay talking to each other. While Cassel lives with family in Virginia, the rest of her family including her mom and sister, lives all the way in Colorado. Given that she has always had to call and text them every day so not much has changed in that aspect, she will include that, “my family has been doing a zoom call every week to check in with everyone, while being far away from home and my family this just gives me more time to call them.”  Ellington, Love, and Russ have been using zoom, facetime, text messages, and phone calls to stay connected to all of their families and friends. Keeping connected to the outside world can also be helpful in the sense of getting new information from different areas and seeing what is going on there compared to what is happening in your own area. 

While being home it’s very tempting to stay in bed all day. It’s very common to hear people say if they had more time during their day this is what they would do. Now that citizens have all this time on their hands they are able to actually do these activities, chores, or exercise they’ve always wanted to do but never had time. There are so many activities you can do just in your house alone. Playing board games, playing cards, drawing/painting and so much more. Yes, these get old after a while playing but you can put a different twist on these activities. Cassel said, “I have been reading, doing a lot of self care like my nails and face masks, things I don’t normally have time for. I have been sitting outside A LOT which is so nice.” Around the DMV area, March came with very very nice weather. While being at home this has given people the opportunity to sit outside and be more active outside by doing landscaping work, or even as simple as throwing around the football. Self care is something that has been trending on social media, while being at home many people should start focusing on themselves instead of the outside world. With not having any nail or hair salons open, this gives everyone the opportunity to start experimenting with things they thought they wouldn’t have to do by doing all this stuff on their own. Love shared some fun activities that she has been trying out, these include, going for runs, reading new books, watching television shows and movies, and practicing lacrosse. All of these can help all different aspects of your life, while staying active and in shape and having time to yourself while watching a program or reading a book. Small aspects like that can help in the long run when all this is over, having down these new routines may help people continue them and not forget about everything that really matters. 

Going to peers and friends to ask them what they have been doing to stay active during all of this can be a good source to help find new ideas. Cassel said, “make a schedule or a routine of waking up, having breakfast, work out all before starting your day. Having a routine and not just waking up and going with the flow kind of makes everything feel somewhat normal.” Knowing that it is hard to start basically a new life, having to do everything from home, it can be hard to try to make it work when everything feels hopeless. That first week might be hard in the sense of trying to make a new routine and sticking to it, but once people get through their first week it will continue to get easier and easier. Love shared some similar advice to add on from Cassel. She said, “schedule these important needs into a time of day so that you’ve given yourself time and don’t have any excuses.” While making excuses can also play a huge problem in getting things done, that’s one thing students need to push through in order to get what needs to be done in an orderly manner. 

While everyone is in the house waiting for the day that the President says, “people can start going back to work, as well as students can start going back to school” due to everything still being at such a high risk still, this may be some time before we hear anything telling us that we will be able to go back to our normal lives. Life will not be normal for a while considering this has taken so much from everybody. Love says, “the first thing I am going to do when I am able to go to a normal life is visit my friends.” May students use their friends as a scapegoat to get away from everything else that’s going on in their lives. Cassel shared, “The first thing I want to do when this is all over is to be with my entire team and go to a Mexican restaurant.” While having their senior year get cut short, it was very hard on Cassel, as she is so excited for this to be all over and get back to the family that has been there with her through thick and thin. Ellington said, “I can’t wait to go out to dinner, instead of just eating from home every night.” While Cassel and Ellington both said they wanted to go out to dinner, this is something being talked about everywhere. Friday and Saturday nights are big restaurant nights as people are done with the week and want to start their weekend with a great meal. 

While we might be stuck in this situation for a while, everyone around the world is in this same situation. Everyone is doing the same thing to get through it while staying active, trying to get work done whether that is school work or professional work. We get through this together and once everyone figures that out we will be able to go back to more normalcy.


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