Coronavirus Diaries: Anagha Gummadivalli


This is an illustration of my niece by a family friend. Since she was born during a time when there could definitely be more smiles and laughter around us, her name is Suhasini, meaning ‘beautiful smile’ in Tamil.

Anagha Gummadivalli, Staff Writer

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] 

At 6 p.m. on Thursday, March 12, the day before the FCPS closure began, and a couple of hours before its closure was announced, I constantly reloaded the FCPS website, waiting for a message of closure on Friday. I had a chemistry quiz the next day for which I was in no way prepared, and was counting on the day off to pull through this time. When I saw the announcement of closure, my first thought was:

“No chemistry quiz!”

It wasn’t until later that I realized the gravity of the situation, and how long our closure would be. It wasn’t until later that I realized how seniors would not be getting their graduation, and that standardized tests would be canceled, leaving millions of students in a state of confusion, completely altering their plans. I felt guilty for hoping that school would be canceled after seeing the effect it’s caused, even though no one knew or expected this to happen. 

In the beginning, it was hard to stay on track when I wasn’t at school, especially since there weren’t any teachers stressing deadlines or classmates to compare yourself to. I was responsible for setting my schedule and making sure I was keeping track of everything I needed to do. AP exams were steadily approaching; I felt so unprepared for them and I was unsure where to go or what to do for guidance. I’m still not sure if I’m navigating through this correctly, or if I’m optimizing my time, but the only thing I can do is try. I also started taking a free self-paced course from Harvard, and even though it’s not relevant to the classes I’m taking, I really enjoy it and I feel at least a little accomplished by the end of the day. 

My parents have been trying their best to make sure I’m working and being productive, but seeing as they’re both working from home and have their own lives, I’ve pretty much been left to my own devices. Before school closure, I spent 3 to 9:30 p.m. at Robotics almost every day, and came home to a quiet house and leftovers from dinner. My family and I make more of an effort to spend time together now, because once quarantine ends, we know that we’ll be busy in our own worlds, barely leaving any time for each other. I introduced my mom to “The Office,” and even though she was initially scandalized by Michael’s antics, she now laughs along with me. 

Whenever I spend time with my family these days, I can’t help but think about how lucky I am to be in the position that I am in. My heart goes out to those at the front lines of this pandemic and all the essential workers who have shown their selflessness by continuing to serve in their positions. They have taken it upon themselves to bear the weight of the world. I realize how lucky I am to be in this position of safety, while many others are left to fend for themselves. 

In a time where things seem bleak and the human spirit has been bruised and beaten, many expect life to come to a standstill – but it hasn’t. Life, however abnormal it may be now, still goes on. I got to see my newborn niece, born around a week ago; although not in person as we’d hoped, but over a Zoom call, where family members gathered to see a ray of hope during such a tumultuous time. I see news online, hearing about intimate weddings done at home, with their families present over Zoom calls. It warms my heart to see these things because it’s a constant reminder that no matter what, people get back up and brush themselves off, and brave the storm together.