T.B., a teen in Murrieta, CA

This post is in collaboration with covid9teen

Murrieta, CA:

I am a high school student, and I just finished the school year after staying in virtual learning the entire year. I am taking all AP/IB courses so I have had a lot of homework and stress, and the limited time in class means even more work to be adequately prepared for AP tests. Most of my teachers purposely gave more homework because they thought other teachers would offer less due to virtual setting, resulting in an overload of work. It has been hard, because I used to be able to get through school due to being able to mess around with friends in class and such, and in the last year I have only seen my friends 4-5 times in person. As a way to interact with each other, we all turned to video games. We talk almost every day through games and it really helps us keep our spirits up. When we did meet up in real life though, it made me realize how much I took face to face interaction for granted before. The restrictions in my area were pretty strict considering we had some of the earliest cases, but many people simply didn’t listen to the rules and it just made it worse and worse. My mom got hit hard because she runs a small business in which she teaches cooking classes for kids, which is very hands on. She had to shut down all of her revenue for the year and she was in a bad state. She tried to do virtual classes, but with less success. For these classes, she went to the grocery store once a week to buy ingredients for the classes, and then whatever she would make in her classes, we would have for lunch or dinner. My dad works from home most of the time anyways, so this actually provided a boost for him, adding to his clients. I usually am a very happy person but this year, due to the constant routine of school without seeing friends or leaving my environment, I felt small stints of sadness and even depression. It wasn’t major or anything, but enough to make me realize the effect quarantine had on me. One of the times I saw my friends was for my birthday, where 3 of them came to my house. We had all gotten tested and were negative so we thought it was okay, but then two days later when I tested again, it said I tested positive. I felt very guilty because even though it was the first time in 6 months that I had socialized face to face with people, I felt like it was because of me that all of my friends and their families were at risk, including one friend who lives with their old grandmother. It was all okay in the end and all of them retested negative, but it was enough to scare me from seeing them again for 4 months, when restrictions were lifted for the first time before being returned.

[submitted on 6/4/2021]

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