BY: CLAIRE KIM
Week 1: The first week of social distancing, I was emotionally very drained. I had just heard from my school that they had decided to cancel all school activities that were scheduled for the spring semester. I was looking forward to several of them, especially my California immersion trip, which mind you, I have been preparing for the past year. My struggles, however, didn’t end here. Along with such monumental cancellations, I had a hard time adjusting my life to the tech realm. Living a life that usually consisted of real face to face conversations and audible laughter, I was faced with the jarring experience of utilizing zoom calls to communicate with those I missed. On-screen or at home, week 1 was a literal and physical headache.
Week 2: Starting off week 2, I maintained the lingering pain from the previous week, only slightly less awful. This week, my difficulties were mainly academic-related, as my school came to realize that distance learning would be the new model for education until the school year ended. I was struck with several tests and papers all at once. My virtual timer was the absolute devil, and no other time did I ever feel so behind with school work.
Week 3: By week 3, I was definitely a lot more comfortable with this life of “social distancing” than ever before. Honestly, out of all the weeks thus far, week 3 felt a lot less rushed, which was very much needed. Having more time, my parents and I walked around our neighborhood, enjoying the missed breezes of air and sunlight on our skin. We even took some time to go grocery shopping. When we arrived at the store, a couple of people were wearing masks and gloves for protection, which was definitely an interesting phenomenon to observe. Little did I know then that this was going to be the norm in less than 1 week.
Week 4: Heading into week 4, I had developed a routine. Joining zoom calls for class at 7:50, making lunch with my family, taking a little nap in the afternoon, and then working on homework until bedtime, life seemed more normal now, for once. Well, I guess karma really gets the best of us. By Wednesday, things started to get a little uncomfortable. My school officially announced that school was canceled for the rest of the school year. Governor Newsom extended shelter-in-place to May 3rd. Masks were highly recommended when stepping outdoors. And so much more. A lot changed, and for me, change always triggered anxiety in the present situation.
Now, it’s week 5. It’s spring break and I just celebrated Easter yesterday with my family by attending “virtual mass”. Never thought a day like this would come, nor did I ever think 2020 would be in this shape as well. Fortunately, for California at least, the curve has been flattening which means that social distancing has been effective. I’m hopeful that my last high school summer can be memorable. But, more than anything, I’m hopeful that our health care workers are safe and protected whilst fighting the coronavirus.