Quarantine Mementos

A poem:

“A Netflix queue filled with shows and films to watch, anything to escape boredom.

Stuck inside because of rain, battering against the pollen (yes, pollen season stops for nothing).

Long hours in bed, delays of the alarm clock, head against the pillow—until classes.

Hundreds of Zoom codes cross the screen,

Faces cover the screen, meetings like we’re the Brady Bunch.

That’s how our connections are again and again.

People in panic on FaceTime,

Out buying groceries—many receipts including toilet paper and medications.

Random to-do lists of chores,

Millions of recommendations of things we’ll probably never do,

Even an online Zumba class,

Or cooking meetings.

All of the virtual services and meetings,

Connections via the world of technology.

All of these things behind the coronavirus,

Our panic and support,

Our stories,

The mementos that will stay even after the pandemic leaves.”

sticky note that has

We are all in a weird, insane time with the coronavirus. We each have our own stories, our own mementos of how we were impacted. There may be memes and news stories circulated as fears spread. But what remains is our stories. People are trying to support one another through difficult times and have virtual connections when social distancing is the norm. I thought I would share my stories as well as a few others impacted by coronavirus. Our stories may be unique but we’re all in this together.

For me, like many college students, I expected to go back after Spring Break. I only packed for a week. Then we got news for school going online and after students petitioned, UGA was moved to online. I had no more sorority or Hillel functions. I didn’t have formal, Passover, or Shabbat 500. I had to move out from SDT. All my classes are stuck in a weird stasis, and it’s insane. So far, I’ve been napping and doing schoolwork to keep myself busy.

Woman Typing on Laptop

I’ve also been running groceries for my mom. My mom has diabetes which makes her compromised for the coronavirus. I’ve been running errands for her so she doesn’t go out in public. We must follow necessary precautions. My brother’s college commencement has been canceled. He also was nearly stuck in California trying to get a flight back from Spring Break. That’s his story.

My friend Becca and her twin brother have a story, too. Becca and her parents went on a 21st birthday Spring Break trip to Morocco. Becca’s parents moved to the Azores off the coast of Portugal, so it was just a quick plane ride over. The US cancellation of international flights made them get stuck, needing to take the last plane out of Qatar instead. Becca and her mom were able to get the last two seats home and then back to Azores, but her father was the family member who stayed behind. He was stranded in Morocco with many other Americans until a petition was created. He was able to fly back to Athens from London to reunite with Noah and soon they will be together with the rest of the family who are quarantined in the Azores. They were just a healthy, happy family wanting to be together until the coronavirus chaos.

All these stories are what occurred during this pandemic. We are dealing with struggles and what the future will hold. Many jobs are lost. So, now we have hope that the world will get through this crisis. We must consider the healthcare workers and the truck workers who are on the frontline. We must maintain relationships virtually because relationships are important. We must have love in our hearts; spread love instead of fear. Share accurate information that can save lives; stay home. Give a virtual hug to a friend and keep these mementos that will stay with us forever, good or bad. The world can get through this together, each of our stories intertwined.

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