Personal Column: Coronatime


This coronavirus sucks. It just sucks.

Not to be insensitive to those with the virus or any of the medical professionals who risk their health each day to help, but this whole situation has really screwed up my life this past month. 

Spring break started out with a ruling to practice social distancing, which really didn’t change much. My boyfriend was still at my house almost every night and I had a decent amount of freedom. But then, the virus really started to hit the U.S. and everything changed.

A lot of things are out of my control right now. School is closed for the remainder of the year; two of my college visits were canceled; I haven’t been to jiu jitsu in over a month; I can’t babysit; I haven’t left my house, nor have I seen my boyfriend in four weeks. All this has put me in a tremendously difficult situation, and frankly, I’m not sure I’m handling it all that well.

I need a schedule in my life. It’s one of the things I’ve had to learn and accept about myself. I don’t function well if I mess up my sleep time or if I don’t have a set thing to do at each time. Many people find this online-education to be much easier and laid-back, which they like. But me? I’m struggling. 

I used to wake up each morning and pray for school to be canceled or to be sick. But now, I wake up and pray to be at school instead. It put my stress levels off the charts, but at least it was a normal, scheduled thing I could count on in my life. The new way of learning and doing school is making me more stressed and has really put my time-management skills to the test. I’m to the point where I’m ready to say ‘screw it’ and give up, but I know that would be even more detrimental to me. 

For the past five years, I’ve trained jiu jitsu on a regular basis. The longest time I’ve ever been off was for either vacation or an injury, but even those instances weren’t longer than two weeks. Now, I’m stuck at home, wishing I could just put on my gi and roll. I’m doing a lot of home workouts and lifting to stay in shape, but it’s not the same. I miss the relationships I have with the people at the gym, the intensity of the coaching and the competitive atmosphere. I used to hate how the mat area was 10 degrees hotter than the rest of the building or the takedown drills or the inspirational speech videos blaring from the speakers. Now, I even miss the Saturday sprints at the end of practice that never seemed to end and made my body feel like Jell-O… but don’t tell Coach I said that. I just want to be back there and back to my normal life.

I’m missing my kids that I babysit too. Victoria, Luke, Lydia… I miss y’all so much. (They can’t read, but you get the idea). Those three make me smile so big, and now, I don’t know when I’ll get to see them again. From watching Victoria grow into a beautiful little girl these past four years to being able to get to know Luke’s favorite games to making Lydia laugh after she wakes up from her nap, I miss these things so much. They may seem insignificant to some, but I’d do just about anything for these kids, and it breaks my heart to not be able to see them each week.

And of course, I miss Josh. A lot. I miss his voice and his smile and his stupid jokes and his hugs and kisses. FaceTime and texting just isn’t enough. I know I sound ridiculous, that I can’t even handle some time away from him, but it’s hard knowing he’s just 10 minutes away and we can’t do anything to be together. Before the shelter-in-place order, he was at my house just about every night for dinner or to play Super Mario. (My sister and I have been trying to beat one world in that game for a couple years; he comes over, beats it in one night and now we’re almost finished with the whole game). And then we’d watch a movie or an episode of our show. I just chose to believe we would be able to keep doing that, so on that last night of freedom, it hit me like a ton of bricks. I didn’t anticipate having to be so disconnected physically from him until college; instead, it’s happening now. Needless to say, I’ve cried. Not just over missing him, but over this situation as a whole. 

I understand the severity of the virus and how necessary it is for us to be careful and help to stop the spread of it… but it’s hard. I didn’t think it would have this major of an effect on my life; I don’t even have coronavirus, and yet, it’s still messing with my life and my feelings and my mental health. And I love my family and having this time where we’re all home, but I think we’re starting to drive each other up the walls. This situation is so unprecedented in our lives, and we all are trying to figure out how to do life this way. 

With the quarantine extension through April, I feel just about hopeless. In my own little world, everything has turned upside down and to be honest, I’m barely holding on. My advice during this time: grow closer with your family, be active, maintain a schedule, try something new, etc. You’ve heard it all before. Just accepting that we have little control over this situation is pretty difficult, but once we can get past that, it would be of the best practice to let ourselves grow, even from at-home quarantine.