Coronavirus Diaries: Momiji Barlow

Coping in the midst of a global pandemic


Here’s me cutting up yet another cheesecake that I made. It’s the third one since quarantine has started, but I doubt anyone in my family is complaining.

Momiji Barlow, Managing Editor

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] 

Around the globe, millions of people have been affected due to COVID-19, some more than others. Essential workers continue to put themselves in danger every day to treat those affected, and at-risk groups are exercising huge amounts of caution in fear of contracting the virus. As the lockdown continues, self-isolation has worn the minds of many. I may not be struggling as much as some, especially as I’m surrounded by a healthy family in a safe environment, but I’ve allowed myself a few moments to feel sorry for myself. My senior year was cut short, for one. I may not see many of my classmates again. I never got a senior night with my teammates on spring track. I wanted more time with my closest friends. But this diary isn’t for me to whine about what I don’t have. I want to keep a positive mindset and look toward the future.


I’ve found that this newfound free time has afforded me two options. One, laze around and sleep in, read as many books as I please and binge on shows I’ve never gotten around to. This option doesn’t sound half bad at all most of the time, but once I’ve wasted my day away, I feel dull and useless. The second option is to take advantage of my time and do something productive: apply to scholarships, complete the work my teachers assign me, do a workout. These tasks sound significantly less appealing, but when I complete them, I feel happier and more accomplished. I suppose my point is that there’s a balance. There’s nothing wrong with relaxing and taking time for myself; with college just around the bend, I may not have an opportunity for so much me-time again for a while. But being productive, in turn, makes me content. I just have to find a happy medium, and I encourage you to do the same.


Another thing I want to address is social media. I’m sure most teenagers are familiar with TikTok and its addictive qualities, especially during the quarantine. I am very familiar– I find my eyes getting blurry from staring for so long. It’s so easy to get sucked into endless videos with catchy music of people doing things like cooking, singing, working out, and herein lies the problem: it starts to make me feel bad about myself. My room doesn’t look as nice as hers. My body doesn’t look like that. Recently, there were rumors that moderators of the app were sweeping videos of less attractive or “poor” people under the rug, never giving them a chance of going viral, according to The Intelligencer. As disappointing as this may be, if accurate, what’s important to remember is that the video is a minute at most, a mere snippet of the creator’s life. Not everything is what it appears to be. And when it seems like social media is getting the best of you, take a break. I’ve had to do it before, and there’s no shame in admitting that you need it. 


As easy as it is to ignore life’s responsibilities while we’re tucked away in our homes, try doing three productive things a day. Do a workout off of YouTube. Clean your room. Write that coronavirus diary entry you’ve been putting off. The other day I made a cheesecake and dropped slices off at my friends’ front doors. Guess what? Doing something sweet for other people (no pun intended) made my day, and hopefully theirs too. Just remember that you’re not alone. People across the globe are going through a similar situation, something that’s very rare nowadays. Until we can all emerge from our homes, hopefully in the near future, stay safe. And please, please, please wash your hands.