Quarantine Reflection

Go to quarantine, do not collect $200


My sister Olivia takes a break from working out in the living room. She relies on exercise a lot, so without school sports and going to the gym, she’s been getting creative with what we have in the house. TORCH PHOTO/Spencer Clinton

I am at home. It is March 25th, 2020, and I am in San Jose, California. I haven’t been in San Jose during the month of March since before I started college and now here I am, bored. Though, I shouldn’t even say that I’m bored because that would be an oversimplification of the emotion that I, my entire family and most of the world is feeling. This isn’t just your usual boredom that comes with being away from school, friends, work, routine, etc. This is the type of boredom that worsens with every passing second. This boredom makes me feel like my sanity is on the line. As if I must find something to do or I’ll go insane. I can feel each second tick by every day. I pace back and forth, I go running, I work on homework, I write, I take photos of this madness. I go to sleep, but when I wake up, it feels like I’ve just started the same exact day all over again. No matter what I do, I can feel those seconds ticking by. All I can do is listen and wait. Yet, this boredom is so necessary. We live with this boredom now so we have the luxury of waiting. 

The world is quite literally at a standstill, and no one knows what to do about it. We are all trying our best to adapt to a situation that none of us have ever seen before. To most of us, this is the stuff of Hollywood. Scenes are unfolding across the world that we swear we have seen before … in movies. I’m talking “128 Days Later” or “Contagion”. Part of me is expecting a zombie to come bursting out of the ground in my backyard. No matter what way you spin it, being told by the government to stay inside except for the essential outings like grocery trips or doctors appointments puts us in a terrifying position. It seems so outlandish, I’m not surprised that some people are not taking it seriously. It doesn’t even seem real. In what felt like five business days, everything was shut down and people were dying. People are dying right now. As of right now, Santa Clara county, my county, has 375 cases and 16 deaths.. 

So what do you do when the plague is essentially outside your house, but inside  is a climate-controlled, dull, quiet, slow-motion life? We’re playing Monopoly. Well, we’re trying. We’re kind of just leaving it set up on the table and coming back to it as the mood strikes us over the past week. Maybe it’s the global pandemic or lack of hope for the foreseeable future, but I actually want to build up some properties and become a mogul. I’m the hat, so I feel like that’s bound to come with some kind of power, right? What can’t a fedora do? The opportunities really are endless.

All jokes aside though, filling my days with mind-numbing activities just so each day will kind of just bleed into the next really has me thinking about what the world will look like when this is all over. How “back to normal” will we really be? According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 3.3 million Americans filed for unemployment last week alone. That’s about one percent of the U.S. population out of a job in less than a week. What will the job market look like when this is all over? Then there are those young Gen-Zers, like me, that are on the cusp of the real world. We’ll have graduated, though it won’t really feel like it because there won’t have been a ceremony. Will I have seen some people for the last time and not have known? 

I’m not sure. All I can do is wait.