When the quarantine was announced, us students were quite overjoyed that we wouldn’t need to wake up early and worry about arriving in school on time anymore, or feel frustrated when running around, panicking for a written test you didn’t study for.
As I was skipping through the hallways, thrilled with the news that I could lie down in bed all day long, I took one last look at my school, then waved and hugged my classmates goodbye. Then it hit me.
When would I ever see them again?
This was nothing like the days when classes were suspended due to Typhoon “Tisoy” last December or because of the ashfall of Taal Volcano last January. We couldn’t go out for vacation as if it were a semestral break. This was quarantine.
We played our part by following the rules and regulations of the quarantine. To help the front-liners, we did what we could to give them fewer lives to save. And we did that by staying at home.
For months on end, instead of dying from new coronavirus disease, we were dying from boredom. We have to admit, we do miss school in some way.
I conducted a survey among students of our school, The Beacon Academy, to find out what the entire community has been up to for the past months and what everyone wants to do. I asked about the things they would have, could have, should have done but didn’t, and what they actually did.
What we couldn’t do
Travel. Many of us would have liked to go to places old and new, but alas, the pandemic happened. We couldn’t visit our favorite vacation spots. We haven’t been able to see relatives. We should have had birthday parties with close friends but instead, we’ve been stuck at home.
Participate in outdoor activities. We are usually active in more social work and outreach during the summer. We were supposed to attend summer camps and academic programs but they all had to be canceled. Many couldn’t play their favorite outdoor sports anymore or participate in highly anticipated tournaments.
Exercise. Instead of stretching and trying out new exercises, we just sit in front of our computers, exercise our fingers through typing and eyes by watching.
Study. Because we’re just home and we’re busy lazing around, our drive to learn has lessened because no one really tells us what to do. We find ourselves slacking off because every day is like a weekday and, usually on weekdays, it’s our time to relax.
Be excited about tomorrow. Nothing really exciting happens. We wake up, eat, do whatever we want, sleep. Our lives are a playlist on repeat.
What we did
Caught up on shows. This is what we did most of the time. We spent hours watching the trending K-dramas, anime, movies or TV shows we missed. I think we became a little more open to different genres and shows around the world. As we continued to watch different shows, we traveled along with the story’s characters, as if making up for all the travel we missed.
Spent more time with family. Because people now work from home, we had more time to hang out with our family. Some of us were able to watch shows as a family, and learned each others’ perspectives on the current events. From time to time, some also had game nights.
Kept fit and healthy. Though many just have been sitting and lying down, many have taken this as an opportunity to make up for the time they didn’t and couldn’t exercise.
Learned and tried out new things. For some people, this was an opportunity to discover more about ourselves. They tried doing unexpected things and ended up loving them. Examples: one found out that they enjoyed another style of art, another tried out new recipes. During quarantine, it was a chance to eat healthy foods because people weren’t in a rush to go somewhere.
Reflected. I think the quarantine gave us a chance to sit down, talk to ourselves, and reflect on our usual actions and routines. The quarantine made me realize that the world would never be the same. We had to step up our game and act in extreme caution. We have some regrets, like how my friends and I should have hung out more, or how I could’ve asked help from teachers when they were there.
We worry about the future, wondering how life would be, and it’s a pain because we really have no clue where we’re going.
Quarantine life is hard, but I was able to understand myself better because I had time to think about where I am now. Sometimes, everything can just be so overwhelming. Sometimes, it’s just so hard to accept reality. Sometimes, we forget the tragedy occurring outside of our homes.
It’s fine that we get bored from time to time. We just need to remember to be grateful and think of those who are putting their lives on the line to fight this virus. —CONTRIBUTED