Valuing the Ordinary in a Pandemic

Over the past few months, I have been isolated at home with my immediate family. We have, for the most part, stayed at home and been with each other. COVID-19 has changed the way we live as a family. We have had our fair share of fights and arguments, as does every family. Still, we also have begun new traditions and have grown together. We began to walk both our family dog and my sister's dog every night after dinner. It is refreshing to get outside and be with the people you love. I look forward to this every day because it allows me to forget about schoolwork or my internship and focus my energy on my family.

Following the family walk, we usually play a board game. Lately, it has been a lot of Sorry!TM (which my sister and I win quite often). Sometimes after playing our game, we watch a TV series or a movie. It is a great way to wind down at the end of the day and focus on things you enjoy instead of work or other things going on in our lives that can be stressful. I think my family has created a tradition that is enjoyable for everyone, including our two dogs.

However, with COVID-19, there also have been some downsides to being isolated with my family. For example, we have been unable to see our friends for the majority of the quarantine period. I see them every now and again at the Lower Merion football field or while out driving around town. It has been difficult to not see the people who make me feel most like myself. I took for granted that I could go to school and see a lot of different people every day. The quarantine really opened my eyes to all the little things we took for granted before the pandemic.

Another downside to being stuck in quarantine is the lack of opportunities to do something new. Because you are stuck at home most of the time, it is hard to find new hobbies or interests. I began to run a lot more and have found joy in running most days. I even ran my fastest mile ever at just under six minutes. Although I was able to find a new hobby, many things would be hard to start or learn if you are stuck at home. For example, if I wanted to start a new sport or hobby that needs multiple people or specific equipment that I didn't have, it would be challenging to find ways to pursue this new activity.

Quarantine has taught me a lot of different things about myself and about society. It taught me that I should be thankful for all the little things in my life that I used to have every day before COVID-19. It also taught me how to be a mediator to arguments between people. It allowed me to begin something new that I had been wanting to do for a long time. I think quarantine has shed new light on different facets of my life. Hopefully, through this quarantine experience, we have all become better people.