As part of an e-Learning assignment, Patty Donovan challenged her seventh-graders at St. Rita Catholic School to write Letters to the Editor addressing at least one positive each has experienced during their “shelter-at-home” time due to COVID-19 concerns. Below is a sample of those letters crafted by St. Rita students.
When COVID-19 began spreading, my father told me that we might end up at home sheltering from the virus and stocking up supplies. When I heard that, I was terrified. I thought that we would end up living a life from an apocalyptic, dystopian novel for teenagers. Now that we are sheltering, I’ve realized it’s not so bad.
As of writing this, it is day 37 of 53 of “quarantine.” This time of isolation from my friends has made me focus on my grades and climb out of the hole of unfinished and missing work that I had previously been stuck in. I’ve also managed to add a page to the story I’m writing. Now with the other 16 days, I can’t wait to accomplish even more.
Although this time of social distancing has driven me away from the rest of the community, my family has come together and bonded better than ever. In my eyes, this is a great time for the world to understand the severity and for everyone to commit to flattening the curve. If we as a world can overcome this with the least damage possible, we can prove that there will be a day when there will be peace among all the diverse nations of the world.
My family acts as a smaller representation of the world, we all have our separate interests and our love-hate sibling relationships, but in times like these, they just go away. They even get replaced by a common goal of staying together and getting through this with some sanity left.
We have all watched movies together, gone on walks, and bonded during dinner.
It is hard to think that when we have grandchildren, and for centuries to come, people will be talking about this just as we discuss the Plague from the mid-1300s. And we will all be one of the (hopefully) survivors, giving us the power to spread the importance of solidarity to generations to come.
I am writing today to share some activities I have enjoyed doing with my family. My favorite activity we have participated in so far has been hanging out in our backyard next to our pool. The entire time our dogs are jumping into the pool while everyone else is throwing footballs, kicking soccer balls, or doing something else for entertainment.
Besides outdoor activities, we have done inside board games such as Trivial Pursuit; I have the most wins with two and the others all with one. Usually, it has come down to the wire after my brother or father gets a question wrong and I get the final question right to win.
The lessons I have learned will be a reminder to me of this active and crazy time, and I will remember this for the rest of my life.
During this quarantine time, I recommend everyone take action both to improve a chosen skill while spending time exercising.
A skill could be as simple as interacting with one another, community building, or helping out through volunteering. Pride develops out of finishing activities and all people have a more positive outlook with pride.
In addition to building skills, exercise is helpful to your mental and physical health. Easy exercise examples include walking a pet or running around the neighborhood. If you have the right equipment, you can go on bike rides or do online training; any type of exercise will help increase happiness levels. If we are all fit and have accomplished something we’ve always wanted to do, we will come back stronger and happier than we are right now.
The coronavirus currently spreading throughout the world has swiftly taken away much of our freedom. The social distancing orders being enforced have terminated our gatherings and restricted most areas from visitation. However, it is encouraging to see how many others are making the best out of this unfortunate situation.
My own grandparents have chosen to do something worthwhile with their time. My grandma has been making masks. We had to of course stay a few feet away from them, but it was comforting to see their faces and talk with them again.
Another benefit is the opportunity to improve ourselves. Our family bond has strengthened with exercise, movies, and closeness. We also improved individually: my sister gets to cook, my dad can work on his car, my little sister can play Roblox, and I have ameliorated my artwork.
We also feel more at ease because of intimate reflection and less rigorous schedules. So while the measures put in place to slow the virus have confined our actions, we have seen that many are willing to pursue self-improvement and productivity.
The basketball court in my family’s backyard has been getting much more attention since the start of the coronavirus. Ironically, we are more active in the community than we have been in a long time.
With all the video calls and neighbors out and about, social distancing is becoming harder to
notice with each day that passes by. Although many doors are now closed, new ones filled with opportunity open.
If there is one word to describe this, it’s solidarity. That’s because we still make it work; The self-
isolation (If you can even call it that) is helping the slow of this virus. Yes, this virus may be a little scary to all of us, but that does not mean we should blind ourselves to the good coming out of this.
I open my eyes to the disturbing screeching of my alarm clock every morning. It is nine AM, a two-hour difference from when I usually wake up. I feel refreshed and ready to start my daily e-learning assignments. A couple of hours pass, and I am ready to hop on my parents’ Peloton Bike for some exercise. I get tired from it, so I lay down on the couch next to my mother and step-father and we change the channel to HBO.
There was a really good show on, called, “The Plot Against America.” It’s about a fictional US president who allies with Germany during WW2. I will not give anything away so you could watch as well as enjoy it.
Getting tired of being cooped up in the house, I tried riding my old electric scooter. It held up for barely ten minutes before it died. My step-dad ordered new batteries that arrived in a few days. He and I took the scooter apart so we could reach the old acid-lead batteries and replace them. Then it rode like new! This opportunity for more time to spend with my family and more time to explore interests has made a positive impact that I hope to remember.
Spending quality time with my family is the best outcome that has occurred due to social distancing. We were originally so busy with having to go to many different activities that there never seemed to be enough time in the day for each other, but because we are all constantly in our home together, my family has really become closer than ever.
Instead of being alone before we go to bed as we used to, my family comes together, and we all share each other’s company. Although we have our good days and bad, as many families do, my family has bonded and become as close as we can as a cause of the coronavirus.
This is such a great positive that the coronavirus has brought not only to my family but I am sure to many others as well.
Bonding with family has always been an important part of my life. However, now more than ever I am growing closer to my parents, brother, and even my dog. It has been wonderful playing games and practicing new skills that I never had time for pre-quarantine.
Charlie, my dog, is enjoying the best days of his life, sleeping in all morning then going for walks as often as possible.
We have been so lucky in the past couple days to have beautiful weather that is only here for a week or so each year. Sitting on the patio with family, savoring the gentle breeze with temperatures not too hot or cold is what I now know I need more of in my life; not rushing straight from school to a sports practice or a tournament on the weekends.
Our time in coronavirus quarantine has strengthened my family’s bond, but also the bond of our whole community. Because of the tight guidelines on social-distancing, people go out of their way to say hello and smile.
It is hard to leave the house without seeing someone you know, and talking to them. When you see people out and about, they make a point to be kind, and our world is more friendly, nicer to each other than ever before.
I am never again going to take advantage of going to school, going out to dinner, or even just going out with friends.
Although our community is divided physically, we are more friendly and more welcoming than ever before because we know that everyone is alone, just as we are.
“From downtown,” said my father as he scored a three-point shot. We played outside for what seemed like only a half-hour, but in reality, we had spent a few hours, bonding while trash-talking.
It has currently been six weeks in quarantine, and I have created a list of activities to keep myself entertained.
My parents have kept in touch with their own parents via text, but the majority of the items texted were my pieces of art. On many occasions, time passes so slowly, that I feel a burst of helpfulness. “Leo, can you clean the pool?” “Already did, Mom!”
It’s surprising, two months ago when everything in Dallas was normal, during the prolonged days, it seemed as if I was productive. That was until a couple of weeks ago. Now, I realize that my time was wasted. I never drew. I never played with my dad. I never helped as much as I do now. Although quarantine is fairly boring, everybody can find a positive, whether it is bonding with family, or letting your creativity shine. Keeping faith and hope by my side, I know that we can get through this.
Even though being stuck at home and the coronavirus is upsetting and sorrowful, there’s so much we have to appreciate, and so much more time we have to enjoy family and our lives.
My family, particularly, has enjoyed our time playing games, inside and outside. We have especially loved Spike Ball, Cranium, dominos, poker, and Corn Hole. With this time, my brother made my family a homemade corn hole set. Family games are fun, and sometimes get a little bit competitive.
Also, we have had time to try new dinners that end up tasting delicious. With the good weather, we can have dinner outside.
On top of experiencing the dinner, my sister showed us an idea of theme nights. Now, we sometimes choose a theme — for example, “Dress like Dad.” Theme nights add a twist to dinner, and make it fun.
In this time, we all need to remember to find good out of the bad. Just because of the unfortunate circumstances, we don’t have to be miserable.
Life in quarantine hasn’t been without minor adjustments. It can get boring staying at home while there is a crisis going on around us.
Thankfully, I have a myriad of ways to keep myself entertained. I usually play a lot of video games, play my bass guitar and drums, and talk to my friends.
I have also taught myself some new skills, such as playing the acoustic guitar. When playing music, I feel more at ease about this coronavirus situation, and a wave of peace swells over me. It’s the same feeling I get when I talk to my family.
In essence, life in quarantine can be hard and annoying, but we need to look on the brighter side of things and pull through so that we can get the least amount of people infected with corona as possible.
The quarantine has opened a lot of doors for me except for the ones that go outside often.Though I can no longer do my extra-curricular activities for this year, I have finally found the time to do things like build my desktop, which I am currently working on the operating system.
This has also opened doors for hanging out with my dad. Since I (desperately) need his help, I have gotten to spend a lot more time with him while doing a pastime or hobby we both enjoy, which is being handy and working on a project. We also found time to redo our outdoor kitchen as a camping and garden storage. We built cabinets and set up accordion doors for out there, which was a nice time. We have also cleared out most of my father’s junk in the garage. We are sorting it all out because walking in our garage is like trying to walk through a wall with a couple of gaps in it to give you hope.
Staying home has been an experience; note that I didn’t say it was a good experience, just an experience that I will remember forever.
Though quarantine has caused my family stress, it has brought us together in its own special way. My mom went to the store to buy my family more board games to play to keep us occupied, and when she arrived, she noticed that the whole aisle was empty, and my mom said families are finally playing board games together.
This has had the same effect on our family. We have been spending so much time together. We have played basketball, spike ball, watched countless movies, and shows, and played Monopoly, Life and much more.
Our experiences will forever leave a tender mark on my heart.
In the six weeks of our isolation, I have enjoyed spending time with my oldest brother before he goes to college. We have been playing games together and spending more time together than ever.
With our newly confined living spaces, our family is becoming closer through appreciation of each other before my brother leaves us for college.
Though we are all missing our friends and personal space, this quarantine has had many unexpected benefits.