This is the fourth diary entry written by my teenage daughter. For a virtual history class assignment, students are asked to write about the experience of living through a pandemic. (You can find Volume 1 HERE! I’ll continue to post her entries in order throughout this crisis.)
April 9, 2020
Monday the 6th started as our first day under the state of Missouri stay at home order. It meant stricter rules for what could happen. Only essential businesses could stay open, food services could only be taken out, outdoor recreation could happen like walking or jogging, and still no groups larger than 10 people.Mainly, you could only be around people in your family. This didn’t really change much for me because my family had been following strict rules since the beginning. Some of my friends were upset they could no longer do things or go places but for me there was no change because I had already been under these rules in my house.
One of the hardest days for me to swallow. It started off as a typical day for quarantine. I slept in till about 11am, which is normal. I got on my laptop and did a few school assignments. After that, I went on a 6-mile bike ride with my mom for exercise. We then decided we would grab some coffee to drive around. My mom also had a package to be dropped off at FedEx. I was sitting in the car in the parking lot of FedEx when I got a text that changed my life in a second.
At 3:15 pm, I got a text from a friend that said the governor of Missouri ordered that all schools in the state should be closed for the remainder of the school year. I had to read it a few times to realize exactly what it said, but it didn’t really hit me. I didn’t really think there was a way we could go back to school but hoped that wouldn’t be the reality. After having time to think, it hit me that it was really my reality now.
If quarantine has taught me anything, it would be that I have had lots of time to think, think, and overthink. With this new reality starting to play out in my head, I realized I won’t go to school with some of my senior best friends again. I won’t get my track season to create some amazing memories with my friends. Quite frankly, I am missing a quarter of my life in general, which is a hard thing to comprehend.
I am a student-athlete by heart, so I am constantly looking forward to learning and competing. Those things are being taken from me right now. Teachers are trying their best, giving us something to do at home. Honestly, an online lesson does no justice to the experience you get in class getting to interact with other people and hear the class clown say something to annoy the teacher again. Although I sometimes dread waking up early to go to school or a tough track practice or a test I haven’t studied for, I would take those things over anything right about now.
After devastating news like this that you can’t change, you have to change your mindset. You can no longer hope for when we get to go back to school. Rather, shift to ‘let’s hunker down, get it over with as fast as possible.’