As COVID-19 continues to spread, high schools and colleges around the world are closing, and students are staying home. Quarantining can feel isolating, but stories like these have the power to change that.
Today’s blog is from Kylee Pemberton, a high school sophomore and student at the Destinations Career Academy of Colorado.
My name is Kylee Pemberton, and I’m a high school student in quarantine. School, no matter the age or the circumstances, is stressful. And when you’re an online learner like me, there can be unique challenges. For example, I have a younger sibling at home who is always causing distractions while I’m trying to complete my schoolwork. It’s really important to me to keep my grades up, and I want to be aware of the many factors that could cause my stress to heighten and my grades to drop. Once grades drop, although it may be slow, it’s a steady downfall from there. Right now, the reality of this COVID-19 pandemic is bringing a lot of stress into my life.
At first, reading the news of a new virus outbreak, I thought people were exaggerating and being too paranoid. Little did I know, I was just underprepared. As I continued to watch updates from the President and my Governor, I realized how bad the situation was becoming. When this all started, my family and I were out running errands when my phone buzzed loudly with an Emergency Alert informing all citizens in my area businesses were closing promptly at 8:00 pm. As it was nearly 8, we ran to the nearest store to pick up some non-perishables to last my family of four a while. Walking in, so many of the shelves were completely cleared. People were wearing masks and huddling together as families, while quickly shuffling away from everyone. I sneezed and received the worst looks in return.
My mother works at a store deemed essential. At first, the only precaution the store put in place was to limit two of certain items per family. Parents would send their children into the store to buy multiples, and people were buying out cleaning items, paper products, cases of water, and non-perishables. Others were even stealing the towels and toilet paper from the restrooms. Eventually, the truckers refused to deliver shipments without police on site. I heard reports of a trucker at a nearby store who was assaulted for the produce he was delivering. We’ve unfortunately witnessed people becoming more aggressive as each day passes. My mother fears that someone will turn their aggression on her every time she has to go into work.
For my family, there is a choice of whether to work or stay home. However, some families financially don’t have this option. Even with the government sending assistance money, not everyone is able to take weeks off at a time. I know there are other families who can’t afford to stock up on food because they are living on a fixed income. And there are elderly people who are retired and living off of a monthly check, afraid of shopping for groceries.
A couple months ago, I was ready for my spring break plans. A month ago, I was with my friends having the time of my life. A few weeks ago, I received another Emergency Alert informing me to stay home. Now, I’m at home all day and night, not knowing what will happen next. I’ve never experienced this level of stress and uncertainty before, and I’m still trying to figure out how to deal with it and take on life day by day.
Interested in writing your own Diary of a Quarantined Student blog? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. And don’t miss our past blog posts from other students here!