Life & learning in lockdown

December 20, 2020

A+still+from+the+Chamber+Choirs+Zoom+performance+of+What+the+World+Needs+Now+is+Love%2C+in+May+2020

Mary Wiltenburg

A still from the Chamber Choir’s Zoom performance of “What the World Needs Now is Love,” in May 2020

In the beginning of quarantine a few friends who live in my neighborhood would hang out at the local school because we were bored. As the days went on, our numbers started to dwindle, and our parents got more worried and told us we couldn’t hang out in big groups anymore. So, we started to form little bubbles and invite one or two people in. I decided to learn to skateboard, so I texted a friend and he taught me. It became my quarantine activity. It gave me the chance to leave my house, and kind of kept me sane.   – Sophie Rosenberg, 12th grade

When lockdown started, my family was prepared. Maybe that’s the perk of having a germaphobe mom. Before Covid was even an issue, we had masks, disinfectant wipes, extra hand sanitizer, and anything you would need. My family was strict about quarantine. I couldn’t see friends without masks and 10 feet apart; we never once went into a store; and we had an infinite amount of masks.   – Julia Henslee, 11th grade

I remember people calling it “Covid-cation,” and seeing it as a good thing almost. I did the same, actually. There was no way to tell if the virus was serious then or not, but as a teenage boy, I thought not. The time I really got nervous and scared was when our president declared a national emergency. That’s when it really hit.   – Harry Deller, 12th grade

I could no longer see my friends, because their parents were very cautious. I couldn’t go anywhere. It started to feel like all I was able to do was eat, sleep, or study.   – Kourtney Neale, 11th grade

Once my family realized Covid was in the USA, we stayed in the house for about a month, besides getting food for our home and gas for our cars and lawnmowers. I remember FaceTiming with my friends because I was so bored in the house. After that month, I began to play basketball outside with my friends and my AAU teammates because the gyms were not open. School was the worst part of quarantine, because I had a lot more work than I did in in-person school. Having to join Zoom calls early in the morning from my bed was annoying, because of the bright light in my face just after I’d woken up.   – Chase George, 12th grade

I remember being on Zoom in a breakout room for English class. This particular morning, I decided to make a large breakfast (pancakes, sausage, kale, toast). My phone was on a counter kinda far from me, and my hands were full. I remember pouring the mix onto the pan and hearing it sizzle. The pancakes smelled good, a vanilla and cinnamon smell, kinda like a cozy winter morning in the living room, lol. I listened to the conversation and maybe contributed a “yeah” or “cool,” but honestly, I wasn’t fully present. I remember feeling so tired of this whole pandemic.   – Ray Strand, 12th grade

I remember getting multiple painful announcements, one after the other. First they cancelled the musical, which broke my heart. Then they cancelled prom, which I had already bought my dress for. Then they cancelled school for the rest of the year, and postponed graduation. My friends lost their senior year, and I never got my final day with them.   – Julia Henslee, 11th grade

April rolled along into May, and the pandemic was only getting worse. My brother was studying abroad in Barcelona, where the virus had progressed much farther than in the US, and signs of a mandatory lockdown were imminent. My mother was frantically trying to get him home, and we were facing the very real possibility of him being trapped in Spain for some time. On the evening of the announcement of the US/EU travel ban, we were able to smuggle him on a midnight bus to France, where he took a redeye flight to Chicago and drove back to Baltimore.   – Julia Barry, 12th grade

The first time I saw my friends after school closed was on April 11th for Sophie R’s birthday drive by. It was about 10 of us, standing in her front yard, talking from a distance for maybe half an hour. It almost felt like a normal day with friends – until one of her neighbors called the police on us. We were all shocked to see a police officer at what could barely even be classified as a party, with her parents standing right there with us. It was a sad reminder of the new normal that we were living in.   – Maria Angelos, 12th grade

In the spring I got pretty sick and my doctors thought I had Covid. I was feverish for days, and barely got out of bed for a week. The only time I was able to be in a room with my family was every day when I had a FaceTime session with my doctor, so I could explain my symptoms and monitor my breathing. Eventually I got better and was able to get out of self quarantine and into regular family quarantine. Then spring turned into summer, and summer went by in what felt like a week.   – Jordan Brown, 11th grade

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