Coronavirus Diaries: Sydney Tucker


A good example of me getting dressed up for no reason.

Sydney Tucker

Coronavirus Diaries is a series of diary-type entries written by students and staff documenting the day to day activities and experiences in quarantine. If you are interested in submitting an entry, contact us at [email protected]

10 am: This is the average time I wake up each day unless I have worship in the morning, then I wake up earlier so I can be on time to my worship meeting on Zoom. I try to read my daily devotional provided by my religious organization; my mom has set up a group chat with me and the rest of my family where we share our thoughts on that day’s devotional. I don’t always remember to share my thoughts, but I try. I brush my teeth, wash my face and do my skincare routine. My favorite product I’ve been using is The Ordinary Niacinamide Serum. I go downstairs and I don’t normally eat a “traditional” breakfast. If someone else in my family has prepared something I’ll eat some, but if not I make my own version of an iced coffee, it makes me feel like I’m getting ready to go somewhere even though I’m not. I’ve recently discovered that my days are significantly less enjoyable when I don’t have coffee, so I drink it almost every day without shame. 

11 am-12:30 pm: This is a little bit of free space. I either read (I’m currently reading Notes from a Young Black Chef by Kwame Onuwachi), look up a new recipe to try out that day, shop online for things I can’t afford, study for worship, taking care of my plants, or something else like that.

1 pm: At this time I need to start thinking about what we’re going to eat for dinner. Mostly because if I don’t take whatever meat I need out of the freezer by one, there’s no way it will be ready to prepare by around 5 pm. Fun fact: My grandma is staying with us during this time and my cousin and her husband have fled NYC and come to stay with us as well, thankfully they left before the state was on lockdown. So now when I cook, I have to consider how much food will feed six people. I spend this time looking up recipes on Tasty and looking for inspiration, figure out what ingredients I need and pull them out.

2 pm – 4 pm: Around this time I take my dog, Grayson, for a walk. Depending on how energetic he is that day, I’ll take him on a long walk or a shorter one based on what he’s up for. Once we get back, I start prepping for dinner. I might clean something at this point and most days this is when I take a shower as well.

5 pm: By this time, my dad is home and sometimes he helps me with dinner. On a good day, dinner is done by 7:30-8. My dad still goes to work because he’s in construction and they have not dismissed him. To avoid spreading anything, my dad disinfects his car before he drives home, wipes down his steering wheel and other touchable surfaces in his car. Then when he gets home, he immediately changes out of his work clothes and takes a shower.

7:30 pm/8 pm: We try to eat dinner as a family when we can, then after dinner, my cousins clean the kitchen then watch TV and my dad usually joins them, my mom goes upstairs and goes to sleep, and my grandma watches YouTube videos in the living room.

9 pm – whenever I decide to go to sleep: This is my real downtime of the day, since during the day I try to be as “productive” as I can so my parents don’t tell me to stop being lazy. My version of being productive is trying simple little recipes, reading, cleaning, hanging with Grayson, and going outside. So my real de-stressor is in the evening when I play Sims, I’m not sure why but it’s kind of relaxing and just a nice way to rest my mind because dealing with my family all day can be a lot. I play until I decide to go to sleep, at which time I do my nighttime skincare, brush my teeth, put in my retainer, go to my bed and watch YouTube until I fall asleep.

Every day is a new set of emotions. Some days I’m grateful to be safe and surrounded by my family. Other days I wake from a dream where none of this is happening and am gravely disappointed to return to reality. Some days being all together with my family is fun, other days I want to be anywhere else. Obviously I’m not the only one who feels this way and I try to remember that every day. Sometimes changing my perspective helps, especially when remembering that many around the world or even in our community are dealing with things I can’t even imagine. It’s very difficult to process the fact the world will never be the same after this, so every day is both a blessing and a new challenge. I miss my friends, classmates, and even some of my teachers greatly and when I think about my life two weeks ago versus now, the differences are drastic, both positively and negatively. However, I’m trying to keep my head up, because I know if I let myself wallow, I’ll never get out of it. The things that bring me joy at the moment include making new coffee recipes, posting on my food Instagram, cooking at every possible opportunity, getting dressed up for no reason and going on peaceful walks with my dog. My faith also gives me hope and getting to see the members of my congregation on Zoom twice a week definitely lifts my spirits. One of the things I miss the most is newspaper and it hurts to think I won’t be able to create two more issues with my closest friends, but I am so grateful for the time we did have together. I truly hope that everyone is safe and healthy and I can’t wait to see everyone again.