Summer Writing – Connections Through Quarantine by Cynthia Chang
It can be debated that quarantine either made people grow closer or more distant with the ones they see every day. After I graduated middle school, I lost touch with most of my friends and I was afraid that quarantine would have the same outcome. To my surprise, my friends and I have found ways to keep our conversations outside the realm of simply commenting “imy” on each other’s Instagram posts. On another note, my family and I have started to eat dinner together, something that is typically difficult to do on a normal basis considering my siblings dorm in their college and my dad works late. Based on experience from past summers, I know that spending all my time at home could be overwhelming but these last few months have been a bit easier to go through than previous years.
My friends and I text and call each other to let us know that we’re not going through these times alone. It’s not the same as meeting up, but it makes staying inside a little more bearable. We keep each other on track, making sure that our time isn’t spent on social media 24/7, while also reassuring the importance of breaks. We try to steer away from conversations about school. As we get older and more mature, we learn to have discussions with our peers about social issues, politics, and health. We won’t always have the same exact views, but we learn and better understand others’ perspective. Having someone other than yourself in your life can be the difference between won’t and will. When I started a Chloe Ting workout challenge a few weeks ago, I found myself failing to commit to the full 28 days by myself. After I mentioned the topic to my friend, she asked if we could do it together. Now, me, her and our other friend are on day 10 of the popular 2 week ab shred. Although we all have different schedules, we never fail to send each other the time lapses of our workouts featuring our exhausted faces and beads of sweat. Despite the distance, we keep each other motivated through our small community.
In my community at home, my family usually does everyday things alone, but with the aching for the outside world we’ve begun to leave the house together. Grocery shopping and dropping off food for our aunts and uncles has become a family outing. As places slowly begin to reopen, we’ve made it a point to go out every Wednesday morning. So far, we’ve gone to the beach, Botanical Garden, and had a movie night in our backyard. Although the kitchen can get hot with so many people in the same room, we tend to gravitate towards it when someone’s cooking. We clear out the table and talk about what we’ve been up to, as if we’re not in the same house all day.
Managing relationships during COVID-19 can be far from easy. It’s important to keep us and everyone else safe from the virus. A lot of our plans were cancelled due to the pandemic, but it makes us more excited for future endeavor we may have next year. I won’t lie and say that I keep in contact with all the friends I usually hang out with during the school day, but that doesn’t mean we stopped caring. Regardless of how often we talk, we know that we have each other’s backs when we need support.