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My Life in Memphis, Tennessee during the COVID-19 Pandemic

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Hampton U chapter.

In March, 2020 took a sharp turn when the governor announced that Tennessee would be closing down as a result of the ongoing crisis with COVID-19. I remember my friends and I not being too concerned as we believed we’d only be at home for a few weeks. Many residents here thought the virus would be similar to the common cold and that we had nothing to worry about.  We were so wrong! Life in Memphis has surely changed over the past few months as we adjust to our “new normal”.

The first few weeks were pretty hectic. My family was just returning home from spring break, so we missed the emptying of stores Most businesses and attractions were closed and grocery stores were running low on stock. About a week later, the mayor announced a two week mandatory quarantine for the residents of Memphis. This definitely made the normally bustling city seem like a ghost town as most residents were at home. Soon after, we heard the news that the city’s annual music festival, Beale Street Musical Festival, was cancelled. I didn’t pay that much attention to it, but I could definitely tell that it began to highlight the seriousness of the virus. I tried to ignore it and decided to focus more on ending my senior year. Most of my classes met virtually, but we figured that it would only be temporary. I didn’t enjoy taking online classes, but I was still happy to see my friends’ faces on screen. 

Like me, many teachers and students thought that we would be back in time for prom and our graduation. We would find the reality of that a month later when our principal announced the cancellation of both. Most schools in the city decided to honor graduates with parades and yard signs to commemorate our success. I honestly felt so happy when I had my senior sign in the front of our school yard. Luckily our school, and many others in the city, decided to host drive-through graduations for all seniors. While it wasn’t what I expected, it sure provided closure to the end of my high school career. 

After graduating, I was stuck at home with nothing to do. I started dying my hair, drinking a lot of caffeine, and playing video games for hours. I soon figured that it would probably be best to start spending more time with my family more. So every night, my mom and I would binge Netflix shows such as Schitt’s Creek and #blackAF. I even started a new exercise routine and would take daily walks around my neighborhood with my mom and dog. We began baking and I started making desserts to deliver to my grandparents. On the weekends, we decided to try a new restaurant in town as a means of trying new foods and supporting local businesses. We also enjoyed driving around to the city’s popular attractions during the day time to hang out. It was interesting to see the popular Beale Street vacant and quiet.  It feels strange to say but I feel as though quarantine has brought me closer to my family.

By July, the mayor had reopened most of the city. Immediately I saw people flooding into the mall and restaurants. I was so excited for the reopenings. It was so nice to see stores and businesses reopen during the week. But of course there were restrictions. Face masks had to be worn and most public places had a certain capacity they had to maintain. I didn’t like the mask mandate at first, but I soon realized that it would be best in order to make certain that our city could fully return to normal. I quickly resumed business as usual as I safely went back to the store and out with friends. I was so excited to start dining outside at some of my favorite restaurants. However, some parts of the city haven’t been effectively abiding by proper mandates. This has ultimately led to further arguments on whether or not the city would be fully ready to reopen safely. As a result, Memphis’ COVID-19 cases fluctuated over the next month. Thankfully we’ve since been able to lower our cases and offer more services to those who need them. 

In all, my life during quarantine has been interesting. I’ve thankfully been able to enjoy spending more time with myself and my family. I picked up new hobbies and got to explore my city more without the crowds. While I hate that the COVID-19 virus resulted in some of my most anticipated events being cancelled, I’m thankful for my new experiences. Let’s hope that by next year, we can fully return back to normal.

Madison Davis is a senior, Psychology major, Communications minor from Memphis, TN. She enjoys traveling, cooking, and playing with her dogs, Pyper and Jamocha! She's honored to share her experiences through her writing with the HerCampus community. Feel free to visit her Instagram page @maddyecamille!
I have the privilege to serve as Campus Correspondent for the Her Campus Hampton U Chapter a second year! I am a graduating Senior, Strategic Communications major, Marketing minor currently studying at the illustrious Hampton University. I am from Richmond, VA (shoutout to the 804!). In addition to classes, I run my own creative agency, Tiana Nichelle Marketing where I specialize in social media management, content creation, public relations, and branding. My love for the PR and Communications industry is the reason my ultimate goal is to become a celebrity publicist in the upcoming years! Her Campus Hampton U is an organization that is near and dear to me and I am so happy to be a leader of this ELITE chapter!