Coronavirus Diaries: Alessandra Tazoe

Here%27s+me+spreading+sauce+on+one+of+pizzas+I+made+from+scratch+with+my+mom.+I%27ve+been+trying+out+new+recipes+with+the+abundance+of+time+on+my+hands%2C+but+I+still+can%27t+seem+to+get+the+hang+of+cooking+without+coming+out+of+the+kitchen+casualty-free.

Here’s me spreading sauce on one of pizzas I made from scratch with my mom. I’ve been trying out new recipes with the abundance of time on my hands, but I still can’t seem to get the hang of cooking without coming out of the kitchen casualty-free.

Alessandra Tazoe, Editor-in-Chief

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 chspurpletide@gmail.com 

I’d like to start off by saying that it took me quite some time to get around to writing this coronavirus diary entry. It’s no exaggeration when I say that it hurts my heart to think of all that has been lost and taken away because of this global pandemic: the lives of undeserving people, job and food security for millions across the world and the assurance that everything is going to turn out completely fine in the end. But even if it sounds selfish in the midst of all this despair, there’s another grief that I’ve found in myself, and I’m sure I’m not the only one. It’s a different type of mourning, one for the same social and physical connection that we took for granted when times like these were unimaginable. I miss the times when I could hear my friends joking and laughing while standing right next to them, not through FaceTime or Zoom, or even worse, as the ‘haha’ Tapback reaction on iMessage. I miss seeing and walking past people at school, even if I never spoke to them. I miss going out to eat or shop just for the sake of going out and seeing people who have lives completely different from mine. In reality, I just miss going about my regular routine of attending school, seeing my friends and occupying my mind with the stereotypical teenage things. Nowadays, I find myself filling my thoughts with two extremes: either completely useless things that I know don’t and won’t matter in the long run or plans that have a set date too far in the future for them to even be realistic at this point. There are days that I wake up feeling fine, that it’s just another day in quarantine and this too shall pass. But then there are others when I can’t help but feel like these forty-something days that we’ve been held inside, unable to resume our previous lifestyles, have been utterly useless.

 

And that’s okay. It’s okay for us to be a rollercoaster of emotions right now, I’ve come to terms with it. It’s okay for us to not know what’s to come and be upset by it. To be upset by the fact that we seniors won’t have a prom. That our graduation could be virtual or not even exist at this point. The possibility that our first semester of college may be online. There are so many uncertainties right now, and it’s okay to be upset. 

 

But like all mourning, there comes a point where we must accept the fact and move on. That stage doesn’t come at the same time for everyone, trust me, it seems like almost all of my friends have this whole quarantine routine down except for me. I finally found myself moving on a couple weeks ago. It doesn’t mean I no longer get sad thinking about all the memories I’ll never get to make with my friends before going off to college, because I do. But I’ve decided not to linger on it for too long and to make the best out of what I have and be thankful for it, because what I have right now is more than what millions of others are suffering without. Instead of spending so much time unhappy with the current situation, I’ve turned to searching for the positive in all of this. This turn around began with me completely rearranging my room, moving around furniture and throwing away old things that I no longer saw a use for. Call me Marie Kondo 2.0 if you will, but I felt brand new after decluttering everything. After weeks of feeling like the days were all just moving in an endless cycle, I started to see how being productive like I used to brightened my mood. I’ve set up a routine that I follow from the time I wake up till late afternoon so that I don’t feel totally lost and can have a sense of normality again. Instead of spending hours switching back and forth between Netflix and TikTok, I’ve taken a liking to cooking and baking both old family recipes and new ones by my favorite YouTubers, although I’ve already burned myself twice so I don’t know if I’m calling it a hobby just yet. It’s hard to fill up the hours that seem to pass by so slowly sometimes, especially when the easiest options to choose from are the most mind-numbing. But between the FaceTime calls with my friends that can unknowingly slip from an hour to four and Sunday night Zoom calls with my extended family where my four-year-old cousin insists on having everyone’s eyes on him as he shows off his beloved toy car collection, I’ve found joy in this new ordinary in my life. 

 

It’s taken time for me to cope with the dramatic change COVID-19 has brought into my life and those of everyone around me, but quarantine is a measure that had to be taken for the health and safety of all. One thing that’s for certain is that this extended period of time at home has allowed me to self-reflect on things that are truly important in my life and others that are not. It’s not the loss of materialistic things that leave an empty space in our hearts and minds, it’s that connection and laugh that fills a room that we miss. It may be hard to stay positive during these times, but it’ll be over; maybe not soon, but it will. So until then, stay healthy and don’t freak out if you have one of those lousy days, remember we’re all in this together.