Author: Asha Blake, East Campus Editor in Chief
If I told myself a year ago that I would be living in a pandemic, I would not believe it. My past self would simply laugh and shrug off the comment. However, here we are in 2020, living in a pandemic. This is the first pandemic that I will consciously remember when I am older. I never thought that I would see the day where schools, banks and stores would close down due to a virus. It is a little scary to think about what will happen during the summer or even the fall of this year, but I am keeping my head up hoping that good things will happen.
When I listened to Governor Mike DeWine’s first speech about the stay-at-home order, I was shocked and sad because I thought about all of the things that were shutting down. No more going to the movie theaters, no more late-night trips to the store, and no more going out to eat with friends. Yes, I know that that sounds very superficial, but I am a college student and we do think about things like that.
Although I was a little upset about those things, I did understand why it was happening. As a society, we need to slow down the spread as quickly as possible, and the best way to do that is to wash our hands, stay six feet apart from others, and stay indoors unless there is a valid reason to go outside.
While these procedures do sound easy enough, it has been a pain to follow the last one. This is my last semester at Cuyahoga Community College. I will be graduating with an Associate of Arts degree, and then will be going to Kent State University in the fall to work on my bachelor’s degree in journalism. Having to switch to all online classes this semester has made me feel, in a way, very disconnected to people. Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful that I still have the ability to graduate on time under the circumstances that we are in. However, I picked in-person classes for a reason. They made me feel more connected to my classmates and teachers, it was easier to get feedback from other people, and I felt like I paid more attention in my classes.
My typical day during this stay-at-home order has been the same since it was implemented. I try to find fun things to do to keep myself preoccupied, but some days that does not work at all. The one thing that I do that I would suggest to anyone that is still struggling with this situation is to color. Buy a coloring book, some nice coloring pencils, and just color to your heart’s content.
If you loved coloring as a child, you more than likely will still enjoy doing it now. Coloring even has some scientific benefits. It helps relax the brain and can be used as a meditative exercise. I truly believe that it does cause my brain to be relaxed because most of the time my brain is always thinking about my future, the next thing that I have to do, and my responsibilities. However, once I give myself the chance to sit down and color, all of those worries suddenly go away. Although I do love coloring, I know not everyone does. If you need some ideas of things to do while at home, USA Today has made a list of 100 things to do while stuck in a pandemic.
I know that for a lot of people this situation that we are in is brand-new. I at times still do have to get myself out of the mentality of feeling sad. Most days I am able to, but some days I am in a funk all day. I don’t like feeling this way because I mentally shut down and wind up not talking to anyone most of the day. I usually do not admit things like this, but it does help to express my feelings. If you are like me and mentally shut down, write your feelings in a journal or even talk to someone that you trust. I promise you it will help you a lot more than shutting down does. We are going to get through this, so stay positive and keep your head up.