Coping in Quarantine


Julia Trantham, Staff Writer

Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. I listened to the clock as I stared into the ceiling for the third consecutive hour that day, and it was only 9 a.m. Oh, the joys of quarantine. 

When Gov. Asa Hutchinson closed Saline County schools March 13, I didn’t know how to feel about it. If I’m being completely honest, I was upset. There were a lot of events coming up that I knew I would miss out on and that my friends would, too. The whole situation was just strange. I remember asking to leave my geometry class to go to the bathroom, and in the hallway, I found my friend Katie. She was also in shock about the news. I remember her reading the email that every teacher had just read to their classes, and we stood and talked about it. 

Everyone else seemed to be excited–an extra week of spring break sounded pretty good. But it was too good to be true.  

At my lunch table, all of my friends were talking about it. They were all seniors, and they realized at once how this break was not going to be the best thing to happen in their high school career. They all chimed in at the same time about how they were going to miss a few of the fun senior events and practices for their competitive senior week dance. They all overlooked it at the moment, because they would get two weeks of spring break. Right?


A few weeks later, I was on my bed, responding to a Snapchat with my AP World History Google Classroom open on my computer, when I heard the news that school was going to stay closed for the rest of the year. I ignored it at first, thinking someone did this as a prank to mess with people, but as I kept scrolling, I continued to see this headline more and more, and then I realized it was true. 

Online school was not for me. I struggled with the motivation to do my assignments, and I never had the same schedule for three days in a row. I lost contact with my friends.  I never checked in on them to see how they were doing, because the thought never crossed my mind.  After a long time of isolation and no contact with the people I was close to, I got really sad. I felt numb to my emotions, and I felt that the whole quarantine thing was going to be my life forever. 

On one of the days when I was particularly upset, my mother took me out on a drive to get out of the house. I remember how dark it was, and how I stared down at my feet, and how I wouldn’t look out of the window, and how I wouldn’t even speak.

I was just a boring lump.

When we got home that night, I thought to myself, “I really hope I’m not the only one who feels like this.”

I figured that all of my friends were out having the time of their lives, because social media only shows the highlights of  everyone’s days, and typically not the low points.  

After a while of not talking to my friends, my mother forced me to reach out. She told me I had to text people every day, whether it was a simple “Hey, how are you?” or a silly meme. I remember not wanting to talk to anyone, and I was so upset that she forced me to. But after a while, I noticed a shift in my mood. 

Just a simple text conversation was the highlight of my day for a while, and that was okay. It was better than nothing. 

This pandemic may have taken a lot of our face-to-face communication away, but it hasn’t taken away our technology. Ask your friends to play a game over the phone, or even just talk about a show you’ve been binging. The little things really do mean a lot.

Check on your friends and make sure they’re okay. And check on yourself, and make sure you’re okay, too.