It is mid-March, and that would mean spring break for the Rams in any normal year. As we predicted, 2020 is turning out to be just like a movie, and it feels like we’re front and center on the Hollywood stage. However, we’re not starring in the fun-filled coming of age teen rom-com like we expected. Instead, we were thrown into the middle of a dystopian world where reports of toilet paper shortages and social distancing have taken over the news and left us wondering what to do during our seemingly endless period of self-quarantine.
While COVID-19 will be one for the books, and the headlines now, I’d like to offer my first-hand account of how this virus is affecting my life and what I am up to during this time of worldwide panic. Or what some are referring to as a “coronacation.”
Sunday feels like years ago. In New Hampshire, the “Live Free or Die” State, there were very few regulations regarding the virus, and man did that change. My sister and I decided to have a girls’ day which led us to our favorite nail salon. Rather than just getting my nails done, I also got quite the education. The woman doing my nails asked if my school was closed, and I explained that I spent Friday night in tears because Fordham had decided to close for the rest of the semester. She said she thought that the same would happen to her family in Vietnam, who had not been to school since the New Year, and her sister, a chef for a local school, has been out of work since December. So maybe we should be thankful for the regulations that came out Sunday night, halting all gatherings of people and the forcing conversion of restaurants to takeout only in hopes of saving us from getting to a more severe state.
Monday began the least eventful spring break I could have ever imagined. However, I did spend the day with one friend doing some dancing and yoga. Am I proud to say that I can do the Renegade and a few other TikTok dances? Maybe not. But they were fun to learn and definitely produced some laughter. While my screen time went up quite a bit Monday, I got in my workout at home rather than the lower level of McGinley.
The last thing I expected to wake up to late Tuesday morning was ten thousand views on a TikTok, but in this pandemic, you can never guess what tomorrow will bring. I laughed off what my friends are now considering my TikTok fame and in the spring break style, began doing homework. As I spent my day procrastinating a philosophy midterm, which I don’t recommend, I FaceTimed friends, scrolled through Instagram and caught up on David Dobrik’s latest videos. While my screen time also went up quite a bit that day, I finished the day with a completed midterm and nearly twenty-five thousand TikTok views.
Wednesday I truly broke under the cabin fever and had to get out of the house. I know social distancing is recommended by just about every health professional and organization, but my extroverted self couldn’t take another minute of daytime television and social media. So, I did my best to use the frustration to do something meaningful. At the local food pantry, we bagged meals and groceries for families and, just like most New England restaurants, we worked drive-thru only, bringing bags to peoples’ cars rather than inviting them inside. However, this only lasted a short three hours, and then I was back home. So, the only logical thing I could think to do was start watching “Grey’s Anatomy” from the beginning for the seventh time, and I wish I was exaggerating.
I can assure you I am not an artist, but on Thursday I decided the perfect pairing to early “Grey’s Anatomy” episodes was painting. As I watched George get the first appendectomy, Meredith fall for Derek and Dr. Bailey kick butt and take names, I tried painting. After maybe four different designs and three hours, I decided to retire as an artist. My final product: half a bottle of white paint gone and a grey canvas.
Instagram saw quite a lot of action on Friday, as positivity spreading story challenges took over the top of everyone’s home page. From highlighting beautiful women in your life to sharing a favorite quote, just about everyone had a couple of stories up on their account. Though a great way to use social media to share some light in dark times, this was the worst trend for those who like to keep the top of their home page clear. However, my favorite part of the day was the 30 minutes I spent drawing an orange to share on my story.
Saturday, I made coffee.
So, here’s a condensed list of what I am up to, and what you can do to beat the “coronacation” (which, in fact, is not a vacation and shouldn’t be treated like one) boredom: (1) Don’t go out and get your nails done, but have a spa day at home. (2) Do some yoga or fun workout videos. (3) Stay connected with your friends on social media; bonus points if you get some clout from it. (4) Catch up on some work and be productive, and now that classes are back, I’m sure Zoom will keep us occupied. (5) See if there is anything you can do, safely, to help those less fortunate in your area. (6) Catch up on your Netflix shows, or rewatch the classics. (7) Tap into your inner artist. (8) Partake in those Instagram challenges, despite how goofy or lame they seem, to spread positivity. (9) Become a barista. (10) Stay safe and healthy.