“It’s crazy how this is actually affecting us,” I remember my friend saying. It was March 14th, her birthday. We laughed it off and walked to Starbucks, excited for our long spring break. However, life quickly changed. I think the seriousness of the virus didn’t strike me until I was no longer able to have sleepovers with my best friend, which I did so often, we didn’t even need to ask our parents before she’d come over.
However, this long spring break was not the first time I realized how serious our situation was. From late February to early March, it seemed impossible to escape the word COVID. In my car on the way to lacrosse practice, it seemed that every story on NPR was about Colorado and potential COVID-19 lockdowns. At restaurants, the TVs would play news segments about rising COVID cases, but for some reason, it always seemed too far away. That was until the lacrosse season was cancelled, which sucked because I was going to be a starting midfielder for South High School. We quickly went from playing against other teams to having yoga sessions over Zoom. Another thing that became virtual for me over the summer was my annual volunteering at the Denver Botanic Gardens. I went from organizing games in the Children’s Garden to having Zoom “volunteering” which really was just taking photos of plants in our backyards.
At the time of me writing this, it has officially been eight months since March 13th, my last day of in-person schooling at TJ. And within those eight months, I have experienced pretty much everything. Relationship issues, making new friends, catching up with old ones, and dyeing my hair like there’s no tomorrow. It’s honestly hard to remember the person I was eight months ago. I feel like as time has passed, this quarantine has become increasingly normal to me. It is crazy to think that in early March I went to packed lacrosse games, busy restaurants, and the mall, all without masks. Even watching TV, it’s so weird to see people not wearing masks in public.
Coronavirus has not been entirely bad to me, however. I feel like remote learning and social distancing has allowed me to do things on my terms, and become more dependent on myself. Now I make decisions, such as my future or my looks, based on what I want to do, and not on what other people think. Quarantine has made me more comfortable being alone, which I feel like is an important thing, especially in the digital age. This isolation has also made me dependent on myself to calm my anxiety. And now I regularly go on drives by myself, get food by myself, and go shopping by myself. And while I love spending time with my friends and family, I found peace with being by myself, which this quarantine has greatly helped me achieve.