By Jeremy Bowman
Many people have been dealing with both quarantine and coronavirus/ covid-19 respectively in many different ways, shapes, or forms. The few people interviewed about it during quarantine had much to say about it. Plenty of both good and bad have come out of the quarantine. I have also prepared a few questions for each person and two questions for each person specifically. The questions asked for each group in order were:
- What do you do for fun in quarantine?
- Do you feel like you took life before quarantine for granted?
- Have you started any new habits in quarantine?
- What’s the easiest part of quarantine?
- What’s the hardest part of this quarantine?
Starting off, the first person I interviewed was my mother. When asked the first question (What do you do for fun in quarantine?) she responded with “Watch a Netflix series, play candy crush, FaceTime with family and friends, go on walks.” After the next question (Do you feel like you took life before quarantine for granted?) she responded with “No, I live simply anyways, I don’t go out and party, go to the mall, or anything like that. I really don’t mind being at home. One thing I do miss though is church.” For people who don’t go out much this should be very relatable. When asked the next question (Have you started any new habits in quarantine?) my mother answered, “New habits?…. Not really, but I have revisited some old habits.” She added, “I do have more time to read and write now. I also have more time to meditate and pray.” The next question (What’s the easiest part of quarantine?), she gave a very simple but heartfelt answer, as she began smiling a little more after answering. Her answer was “Hanging around my family more.” Her response to the final question shared by everyone interviewed (What’s the hardest part of this quarantine?) was “Not being able to see my friends, family, and not being able to go to church.” My mother really enjoys her time spent at church. Moving on to the two questions specifically asked which are “Do you feel like you’re getting enough time to yourself? Do you feel like you’re closer to everyone in our family than before?” Her responses to these two questions were (in order), “No, I don’t get the same amount time to myself that I used to before quarantine,” and, “No, not really, I was already really close with everyone”
“It’s not really that surprising for a college student, but I’ve been stocking up on a lot, and I mean a LOT of ramen whenever I can find it in a store.”
The next person I interviewed who was my friend Alejandra (who asked me not to disclose what college she goes to) was asked the same five questions. Her response to the first question (What do you do for fun in quarantine?) was “I mostly binge watch shows on Netflix or play my guitar more often” (just as the rest of us do now). Her response to her second question (Do you feel like you took life before quarantine for granted?) was, “Yes and no, because I do feel like I was too serious a lot of times and should’ve let loose a little more often.” As a busy high school student I can relate and can only think that my schedule will get more packed after high school. Ale’s (Alejandra’s nickname) response to the third question (What’s the easiest part of quarantine?) was, “I guess if reading more often counts as a habit, then yes. Also, I have been going to bed a lot later than usual.” (just as most of us in the same age group do now). For the fourth question (What’s the easiest part of quarantine?) Ale said “It sounds really weird, but It’s easier for me to eat a lot more often now than I did before quarantine. I didn’t have much time to eat before because of schoolwork and other extracurricular activities.” As for the last question that I also asked before (What’s the hardest part of this quarantine?). Ale responde, “To be more productive and motivate myself to do more, because I have way more time on my hands than I did before.” The next two questions, which I came up for Ale specifically, are: has this quarantine been more good or bad for you? And besides toilet paper, what surprising thing have you been stocking up on? To these questions, Alejandra replied with “I would say both, because before quarantine I was focused on too many other things and didn’t have much time to work on myself as a person. But it’s bad, because I get bored very easily, and personally by being bored I create new habits that aren’t exactly good. For example I don’t exercise anymore, watch what I eat, or I sit on my phone for too long.” She added, “It’s not really that surprising for a college student, but I’ve been stocking up on a lot, and I mean a LOT of ramen whenever I can find it in a store.”
For the third and final person I interviewed I only asked the two specific questions meant for him, my teacher, Mr. Huber. The first question I asked was, do you prefer digital classes over physical? Mr. Huber responded, “I don’t think there’s a teacher on the planet who would prefer remote learning to physically being in a classroom. Every Zoom is like a black screen of death, there’s no life with the mics off and the camera off. Education is give and take, and I need to interact with my students to feed me, to sustain me, to uplift me. And I believe that I can have the same effect on them.” This quarantine is really having an effect on our teachers as well as us. The next question I asked was: Is this more stressful than normal, physical classes? To which Mr. Huber responded, “Absolutely! Even if a student is on the screen their faces are so small, and no one is really replying right now. I can’t read them, you know? And I can’t go to their desk and ask how they’re doing, or why they look upset. That type of thing. It’s also stressful feeling like no one is listening even though they might be. I’ve read quite a bit about Zoom fatigue and I know that’s real, but we have to find out a way for students to find a comfortable space, turn their camera and mic on, and be able to attend multiple classes per day. But it’s also stressful not knowing what strategies or methods or requirements or expectations are fair! How do I know? We are all trying our best. Education was founded on physical learning since ancient times–Socrates believed in a circle of elders talking and asking questions while young children hung around and listened. I think there are some cool aspects to remote learning that I could apply to physical learning, but I’ll never want to substitute what takes place in a classroom for a computer screen.” This is a very long response to the question, but I feel like it as a whole can describe mostly what many teachers of preschool, elementary, middle, high school, and college are feeling right now. They miss their students and miss being able to interact with them in person.
Many people are dealing with covid-19, quarantine, and social distancing in many ways, but these are just a few different ways on how it changed or didn’t change a few different people’s lives.