When Anne Frank was about my age, she documented her life hiding in her attic from 1942 to 1944 in her diary. During the horrific World War II time, she was not only confined to a small space but lived in fear. Getting flour for a birthday cake was a luxury and she had limited supplies of everything. While we cannot compare our current pandemic and toilet paper scarcity to World War II, this is an unprecedented time in history, and it has led to anxiety and fear for many of us. I have been self-quarantined since March 10th because we are at the epicenter in Seattle. While I cannot control the fact that the school year has fully transitioned to online learning, and events are quickly getting cancelled, I am grateful for things I can control and for those who keep me safe.
During this pandemic, I have observed people in fear of losing loved ones, and income. We’ve visited friends’ businesses for take-outs to support them. We’ve been thinking about what we can do to support our community.
Fortunately, I have the opportunity to continue on with my school education. We have a scheduled instructional time via Zoom. I spend afternoons doing homework and connecting with my friends online via Snapchat, Facetime and TikTok. I’m also exploring things that I haven’t had enough time to do previously. I’ve painted, written for pleasure, taught myself guitar, and caught up on current events by reading the newspaper.
As someone who is used to filling my schedule with events and projects, it has been nice to slow down and take some time to focus on personal growth. I still create a schedule for myself but there’s room for yoga and meditation. I’ve looked for new ways to be an active community member since we cannot volunteer in the same way that we used to. My daily schedule is consistent, but I do like to incorporate different types of fun into my evenings. I educate myself through online courses like Hollywood Films. I have been experimenting with different recipes and trying to recreate my favorite foods. My mom prepares daily teatime so that we can have our daily conversations.
After a month at home, I have decided to use the pandemic as a way to rethink how I approach life and how we address our communities in crisis. I am fortunate enough to be a part of the population who is not vulnerable and highly at risk for COVID-19. I am able to support those who are suffering from the effects of the coronavirus. I call elderly friends and check in to see if they need anything. I also write to my grandmother in Los Angeles to keep her company during this lonely time. I fill our little neighborhood libraries with children’s books since local public libraries are closed. These are the things I can control and do to keep us safe and healthy.