By: Uma Attreya
I’ve always been told to look at the bright sides of things, find a silver lining, no matter how bad things get. Usually, it’s easy, because the answer is that whatever I’m upset about won’t matter in the future. However, that’s not the case now. With thousands of people dying and extended “coronacations,” the full impact of COVID19 is yet to be determined. Like many, my family and I have been self-isolating in quarantine, bored out of our minds, and missing our friends. Mentally, a lot of people are suffering without seeing their friends, a support system, and feelings of anxiety have risen due to the uncertainty of the future. It’s not all bad though, because we are stuck home during a generation of technology.
During quarantine, my screen time has gone up, since I am almost always on my phone texting, calling, FaceTiming, SnapChatting, etc. Though it’s not the same as actually meeting up with friends, I’ve learned to value technology for enabling me to still communicate with people I miss. Plus, there are a lot of things you can still do with friends with technology besides iMessage games. There are online games you can play on your computer with multiple people; Club Penguin has become popular again. Websites have games like Cards Against Humanity as well, which was a popular one I’d play with my friends in person before all of this. Doing a photoshoot on Facetime is also fun! And of course, I’ve been catching up on a lot of TV. I’ve been binging shows and watching movies on streaming services like Disney + and Netflix, along with finally getting around to making Spotify playlists.
Aside from entertainment, quarantine has also taught me to be productive. Despite my practically nonexistent sleep schedule, with minimal sleeping at night involved, I’ve been able to get a lot of things done during quarantine. With remote learning, I have grown as a student. I figured out the best ways for me to teach myself material and study since a lot of remote work is independent. I figured out how to prioritize my classes’ workloads so I don’t get overwhelmed, I make my deadlines, and so I don’t work the whole day. Though some days are longer than others and early morning Zoom meetings aren’t at the most ideal times for a night owl such as myself, I’ve come to like learning on my own and teaching myself. It will surely come in use for the future. Besides missing my friends and not interacting with them during classes and lunch, remote learning isn’t the worst thing that could have happened, especially considering we have Zoom, Google Classroom, Remind, etc.
I’ve also been using online resources to learn new skills. I quickly found out I wasn’t much of a knitter, but I’ve been taking more time to draw. I’m definitely no artist, but with a tutorial, I can make something halfway decent. I’ve also been learning to code, and I’m learning ASL! These are all things I’ve always wanted to do but never had the time to. I play an Indian instrument called the veena, and I have played it since I was 5. During quarantine, I finally got back in touch after months of not playing. Same thing with reading; I have always been an avid reader with no time, and now I’m finally catching up on these books. I finally deep cleaned my room, after a whole year of saying I would. Who knew I actually owned more than sweatpants and t-shirts, my quarantine uniform?! Despite missing swimming, since now would be the club swim spring season, I’ve found out that I don’t mind walking or jogging, and youtube videos by people like Chloe Ting are helping me work out and stay in shape.
So, though the coronavirus has negatively impacted many, there is a tiny silver lining: we finally have time to do things we never could before, learn new things, and we now are all more appreciative of what we have. I know for sure I took things like being able to go out and my friends for granted, and after this is over, I’ll be sure to not do so. I am working on bettering myself, even though it’s really hard doing so alone. I’m learning a lot of new things I never thought I would, and I have time for hobbies now. I’m bored out of my mind, but I’m more bored with my situation than what I’m doing. I want to be able to go out and do things instead of being stuck at home, but I’m not out of things to do at home. Even though this pandemic has mentally affected everyone, and not in a good way, it has also helped me do some thinking. Corona has taught me to spend my time wisely, learn as much as I can, and most importantly, be grateful for what I have since I never would’ve thought I could lose and miss so much.