Life during quarantine

Jenna Varner, Special to The Oak Leaf

My life has completely changed since being quarantined. I was rarely ever home in my daily life because I was bouncing from school to work and to being with friends. Both my parents and I have been home since this started and have not really left. My family always drives me crazy, but they are actually quite funny and entertaining when put in a weird situation like this. My brother, who lives at home, works for Guayaki and is still distributing the “essential” yerba mates to different stores that need them. 

Since he is out and about, my parents and I decided it would be best for us to stay home even more (even though he showers every time he comes home and is staying clean). My other brother works for a winery called Kistler and is working from his home in Bennett Valley. He rarely comes home to check in with us because he is scared of people at the moment, I guess. My dad is working from home, but my mom works for a school and has switched to online classes like me. 

I work at Create it, where only two of six employees who can work, because three of them are either uncomfortable leaving their houses or live with their grandparents. One of them goes to school at Sonoma State, but unfortunately had to move back to her hometown until next school year. 

My job is only open four days a week selling to-go kits for pottery painting and glass fusion for curbside pickup. Since we are doing pickups, my boss has completely transformed the store to online by taking pictures of every single pottery piece, which I learned is almost 200 different pieces! Within about a week’s time my coworker, boss and I learned how to navigate the whole online system. I used to work a little less than 30 hours a week and now I only work about 10. 

I have never gone this long without seeing my friends; they are a huge part of my life. Although we talk every day, it is hard not to see each other. 

One of my best friends was on three month trip to Chile for with 10 teenagers that he did not know. The group was taking Spanish classes to work on fluency, while also working with children who do not speak English. My friend was forced to cut his trip short and come home a month early. 

I saw him for the first time after he returned in a parking lot hang-out my friends and I hosted — we stayed six feet apart of course. It was really hard not to give him the biggest hug.

My girl gang is the hardest to stay away from right now. Before the pandemic, we saw each other almost every day for the last two years, and while we are always making the best of every situation we’re thrown into, we were not ready for this. 

Humans are easily scared. Yes, this is a serious pandemic, but being afraid is not going to help. I think people are using it as another reason to be scared of the world and living. It makes me wonder if people are actually going to feel relief when this is over. Anxiety levels are high in every household, so we are not alone.

School is really testing me right now. I am enrolled in an extra-help stats course (Math 15 and 215) and the switch to online courses  resulted in my teacher giving at least three lectures a week, plus assignments and small quizzes all due on Fridays. 

Now I have to make my own time to do my math work instead of just using the class time because he is not doing Zoom. I already struggle with math and to lose that extra help is really difficult. This really makes me appreciate the teachers who are helping make this transition easier and less stressful by offering help and understanding the students’ perspective. 

Throughout this pandemic I have realized how important human interaction is to life. I do believe the world needed a rest because everyone was going nonstop. The biggest thing to come out of this is appreciation. Humans tend to forget that we take a lot of things for granted, and Mother Nature finally had enough.