Oblivion to reality--COVID-19 by ERIKA LEE

‘Mysterious Wuhan Virus.’ This is what the first words came out of the press when first hearing about COVID-19 the first month of January 2020. We just went about our life not worrying how this would drastically change the year to come. Then we hear that Italy and Iran went into lockdown. I stood baffled at the fact that this spread to those countries. I honestly thought this virus would stay regionally within the Wuhan province and just spread domestically. Never did I think the Middle East, or the Mediterranean would be affected by this ‘mysterious virus’ let alone the rest of the world would be affected by this.

March comes around when the virus is slowly being seen in various other central European countries. This is when the WHO declared a name for this virus—SARS COV-2. Italy’s cases started skyrocketing and how everyone in Italy and Iran declared a national emergency. This was when people started being told to go quarantine at their house. Videos and photos were of once packed streets in major cities with a vibrant tourist destination were not completely empty. I was a little bit anxious because at the beginning of March was when the first case of COVID came to America on the west coast.

The Gunston staff told us to pack up our books from our lockers which made me think they were just being paranoid—naive to how dire the situation was becoming because I looked forward to going to San Francisco on spring break. Little did I know our world would be turned upside down, and everything we knew and loved was swept under us for the next year. Our new reality became distance learning, quarantining at home, saying goodbye to socializing with friends, and any large gatherings whether that was festivals, junior/senior day, summer camps/ programs, and much more.

Spring is a blur to me. All I remember is staring at a computer screen every day, sitting in boredom, and trying to make use of my time by exercising. Some days I did better than others with keeping my sanity in a straight line. One day I specifically remember is driving in circles for 20-30 min straight in my driveway to just do something with my life. Yeah, I had more days where I was losing my mind more towards the middle to end of May than other time I remember during quarantine.

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