Corona-cation transformations

Students change mentally and physically during pandemic

photo+by+Peyton+Sims

photo by Peyton Sims

Story by Stephanie Jumper, feature editor

March 13, 2020. The day that will live in infamy. On this day, we unknowingly said goodbye to in-person classes and for the rest of the semester, endured online school and not seeing friends for months on end. The world is so different now. It feels like everyone’s life story is split up into two parts: B.C. (Before Corona) and A.D. (After Disease). As COVID-19 hysteria draws to a close, let’s look back on how this year has impacted students’ personalities and outlooks on life.  

Ryan Kate Walker, 9

How did quarantine affect you?

“Quarantine has probably changed my personality a lot because now I know that I probably shouldn’t take time with people for granted. I should savour the moments I have with people, so that I can make time with people last before I don’t have any more time [with them].”

What did you miss most during quarantine?

“I probably missed my group of friends the most because we’re all pretty close, and not being able to see them made me kind of sad. We did a lot of group calls, and we all played a lot of Minecraft. [Playing Minecraft] started at the beginning of quarantine as a joke, but then it just started becoming a normal thing.”

What did you do in your free time when you couldn’t see friends?

“I spent a lot of time with family. We go to Lake Greeson every summer, so I spent a month there. I haven’t really gotten closer with [any of my family]. If anything, [quarantine has] made me more separate [from] my brother because we’ve spent so much time together.”

 

Dan Zwirn, 10

 

How did you change physically during quarantine?

 

“I got an inch or two taller. I changed my hair a few times. My weight has fluctuated between depressive episodes, not really doing anything for a few days, [followed by] sudden bursts of motivation where I do an entire full length workout in one evening out of boredom.”

 

Why did you start working out during quarantine?

 

“It started as a way to tire myself out because I could never fall asleep. My brain would wonder and it would never let me rest, so tiring myself out was sort of a coping mechanism to get me to relax a little bit.”

 

How did quarantine affect you?

 

“Quarantine has really affected me in that I’m alone with my thoughts a lot. I’ve had a lot of struggles with [gender identity]. Discovering who I actually am. I’ve been toying around with the idea of being nonbinary, neither male nor female, and I’ve had a very small group of people start calling me Dan, my middle name, which brings up my mood a little bit. I don’t want to feel masculine or feminine. I want to just be an entity.”

 

Alison Head. 11

 

How did quarantine affect you?

“I’m a very anxious person. I get paranoid. I think it’s made me a lot more anxious. Every now and then, I’ll get a sore throat or a cough and be like, ‘Oh God, what [if I have] Corona?’ I’ll have a freak out for like two minutes, and then I’m like, ‘No, I don’t. It’s fine.’ I’m a lot more conscious of keeping my distance from people because I don’t want to be the reason someone’s grandma dies.” 

 

How did quarantine change how you talk to people?

 

“I didn’t get to see my boyfriend for a while. We called a lot. We FaceTimed a lot. I preferred real person [interaction because] it’s easy to connect with people that way. It’s easier to talk to people face to face because a lot of the time stuff can get misunderstood over texting.” 

 

Alex Hines, 11

 

How did quarantine affect you?

 

“Since quarantine, I’ve become a bit more extroverted. [Since I was] away from people for so long, I put myself out there more [now]. Before quarantine, I was super secluded. I only stayed with my small group of friends and never really tried to make more friends. I actually tell people how I’m feeling instead of keeping it to myself like I usually would.”

 

What physical change did you make recently? 

 

“In July, my hair was really long and there was brown in my hair. I didn’t like the way it looked. I had the urge to dye it. I’d wanted red hair for a while, so I bleached it and dyed it red. I got bored of doing the same thing everyday and wanted to do something different.” 

 

Why do you think isolating can change someone’s personality?

 

“[For] a lot of people I know personally, the pandemic was a really bad time for their mental health because they were away from people that helped them. Also, during quarantine, you don’t get that social interaction that forms your personality. Within the long time that we were away from people, it had an affect on how we act because we don’t have to keep up that personality that we put out there everyday.”

 

Quarantine had its fair share of hardships for many, but it’s helped students discover who they really are when deprived of late night hangouts with friends and the ability to explore the world around them. These past few months have been an adjustment in almost every way of life. However, thanks to the magic of FaceTime and self discovery, students have been able to find ways to improve themselves as people, during the pandemic and beyond.