It’s October now, which means we’re officially nearly seven months into quarantine. I can guarantee you this is not how I envisioned 2020 would go, and I’m pretty certain nobody else did either. I was thinking this year, this start to a new decade, would be full of new beginnings, new adventures, and new friendships. Not new viruses, new rules, and new fears. Add in the underlying fear in all of us right now politically, and you’ve got a plot twist that none of us saw coming.
When I first heard that COVID had reached the U.S., I was sitting in my chair at the rec center where I work, typing away to enter a patron’s information in our computer. I remember the patron offhandedly mentioning that there was a confirmed case somewhere on the west coast, but that we wouldn’t have anything to worry about all the way over here in Ohio. Laughing, I agreed with them, certain that this mystery virus would die down before anything bad happened to us in Ohio. Deep down, a part of me had wondered if this would reach us, but my brain assured me it was impossible.
Fast forward to right now. We’re right in the thick of a global pandemic, our country is under a national emergency proclamation, and I can’t even leave my house to see my friends and classmates in person. Granted, my mental health has vastly improved since the first month or two of this quarantine. Back then, I thought I was going to have to live like a hermit for the rest of my life and never get to talk to anyone again, and that certainly didn’t give me an optimistic outlook on things. At least now I’m able to go to work carefully and get some tiny form of human interaction, albeit from far away and with minimal words exchanged. Self-care has been huge for me during this too, whether it’s taking a bubble bath, spending 10 minutes in a face mask with some music, or just taking a nap. I’m doing my best to make sure I don’t neglect myself and my needs during this stressful time.
I’ve finally settled back into a routine. With my college classes all online, I can do everything from the comfort of my bed and my pajamas, which I can’t say I’m upset about. The switch to all online classes was easy for me since I was homeschooled up until my junior year of high school, and frequently did online classes from home. My professors have done a phenomenal job switching over and teaching in this foreign environment, and I’m so thrilled that they’ve been able to make this work. Right now, my day follows a pretty regular pattern: wake up at 10, eat something, work on school until about 2pm, take a nap or some other form of self-care, go to work at 5pm, leave work at 9pm, shower, eat dinner, and go to bed. Having a consistent schedule is something I’ve always tried my hardest to follow as a student with anxiety and ADHD, and I really think it’s the main reason I’m able to keep my grades and my attitude up during this scary time.
This is definitely an unprecedented situation for everyone alive right now, and it’s eye opening to see how much this has changed everyday life for people. The lack of face-to-face interactions, hugs from loved ones, and days out with friends is taking a toll on us all. With everyone pulling together to push through this, however, I have the utmost confidence that we can make it through this together.