By: Asha Gajraj
COVID 19, or coronavirus, has converted the whole world into a realm of panic and confusion as 7.8 billion people scramble for supplies and hand sanitizer. Hence, there is a shortage of N-95 masks, toilet paper, diapers, soap, and hand sanitizer, which are the very necessities we need in the midst of this pandemic. Multiple governors, including New York’s, have mandated a quarantine for weeks. On 3-29, President Trump issued a social distancing order until April 30th, at the least. School will most likely not be open until May, and now we enigmatic and energetic kids are forced to stay at home. However, is there a bright side to this bleak situation? Can quarantine be beneficial for us? I will take you through the facts as we proceed in “Is Quarantine Really That Bad?”.
- Parks, mass gatherings, and courts are closed. Public areas such as amusement parks are now desolate ghost towns with tumbleweeds. All the excitement is shut down as all of us stay in our houses. These limitations open up our first con: the lack of exercise. It’s very difficult to run around, jump, and play sports within the limited space our house provides. Even if you have the room, you most likely have nice vases or valuables that you wouldn’t want broken. Although you can substitute these with yoga or jogging in place, it just does not replace real sports.
- Now that we have nothing to do, the first option we turn to is our phones. If not our phones it is the Nintendo Switch or video games. Within this already growing pandemic, we now face an epidemic of screen time. In online school, we already have hours of screen topped with more time spent trying to complete assignments. This can cause headaches, grogginess, lack of energy, etc. Although this screen time is highly detrimental, it is very hard to find something interesting to do. Some of you wouldn’t touch a book or play a board game, so it can be painful to tear your eyes from your beloved device.
- Of course, all these facts, case numbers, online homework, and lack of supplies give us insight into our last con: stress. Obviously in the middle of a global dilemma, it is perfectly normal to be worried about the outcome. However, depositing your thoughts in the chasm of worry is harmful to your well-being. By becoming anxious or overexerting yourself when it really is not necessary is dangerous. Being locked up within four walls is pretty terrifying, especially if you are that person who cannot live peacefully without knowing what is going on in your surroundings. Quarantine causes people to go crazy with shopping, especially toilet paper. (I’m pretty sure you have heard your parents complain about the shortage of these necessities.) People feverishly ransack aisles and take all the vital supplies. Automatically, it seems, quarantine has a bad reputation for being undeniably scary and stressful.
Those were cons of this complicated case. Let’s end this article on a good note with some pros:
- Quarantine helps slow the spread of any disease! COVID 19 in particular is airborne, meaning that it can linger in the atmosphere. Doctors and scientists say that coronavirus bacteria can stay in the air for up to three hours! You wouldn’t know whether you are walking into a cloud of bacteria when you are walking in the park or in the store! Also, the coronavirus can live happily on a piece of plastic for three days! This virus can live anywhere for extended periods of time, and there are many people using and sharing the same contaminated object. I know it is very hard not being able to see your loved ones, but think of it like a sacrifice for the larger good. Not seeing them is better than giving them corona. This is a dangerous possibility, and with cases rapidly increasing, it is better to stay home.
- Quarantine opens new possibilities by spending time with your loved ones. We have 10 months of a rigid schedule that focuses primarily on school. Add to that a few extra curricular activities, and the time we have with our families is limited. However, now that we are forced to stay home, it is the perfect opportunity to get to know all the aliens that inhabit your house. Play some board games, bond, and cook together! I personally love spending time with my family, especially my siblings. I used to stay up until 10:30 pm and focus all my attention on homework, not my brother or sister. Now, I laugh more and smile! Savor every moment you have, for a quarantine like this may never happen again in our lifetime.
- Quarantine may mean that you are forced to stay at home, but now you can learn and accomplish ambitions that you’ve wanted to for so long but never had the opportunity to. Over the weekend, my mom learned chess, a board game she wanted to learn for so long but never had the time. My sister learned Sudoku, and my brother finally figured out how to play Crazy Eights. I finally have the time to read the book I wanted to dive in for so long: The Hobbit. Some may see this time as useless and the time to take a nap, but use it to your advantage! We are in an unprecedented time with unpredictable outcomes, so instead of wallowing in worry, take your mind off the news. Learn and have fun!
- The last benefit of quarantine is that you can relax and take in your environment. Take a deep breath three times slowly. That probably felt good. When was the last time you ever felt so relaxed? Not in a while, I’m sure. Some may perceive this relaxation as boredom, but you are probably so used to the hustle and bustle of life that your brain shuts down. With hardly any activities, your normally active brain feels deprived of stress. However, I took this time to chill. Do some yoga and mediation- it will make you feel great. Normally, I never had the time to enjoy much. I ate my lunch quickly after school and started my assignments. Now, I fully appreciate my surroundings and how fortunate I am to be safe. Doing “nothing” gives you a chance to feel rejuvenated and appreciative, and this is effectively provided in quarantine.
Being in quarantine isn’t as bad as you think. Sure, this situation is a pain and worrisome, but staying inside is the best we can do to keep this virus at bay. Hope may be lost when in quarantine, but heed my suggestions, and perhaps you will feel better. Remember, help our first responders who are in the front lines, trying to keep us safe. We mustn’t go out and endanger our friends and spread this vicious disease. Scientists, doctors, nurses, and health care workers are doing their best to fight off this disease. Be resilient and retain hope, for losing it is the last thing we want. This pandemic will not last forever, and it is not the end of this beautiful world. There is, and always will be, a light at the end of the bleak and pitch black tunnel. Stay Tiger Tough, LWA-Mazing, and LWA-Wesome!