JWMS Newspaper Club
Life in Quarantine: Teacher and Student Perspectives by Petra P.
We're all in this together - fighting COVID-19 as a JW community. To help us feel a little more connected, this article is Q&A-style piece, which features teacher and student responses to three questions related to life in quarantine.
Q1: How have you been adapting to life in quarantine?
Parts of adapting to life in quarantine have been easier, like not having to set an alarm in the morning. Other parts have been more difficult, like not being able to go places when I want or see people in person. My work hours are kind of crazy. I start work later than usual, and work much later than usual, but I have adjusted and like the freedom of not having to stick to a strict schedule. I've also been trying to support local restaurants because I know they are struggling right now! ~Ms. Finelli
I've also been trying to support local restaurants because I know they are struggling right now!
Although living through a quarantine is different, I have adjusted well. I am quarantined with my husband and three children. We are all working from home, so we each set up a working space. We try to plan activities that keep us active and engaged. We started out working on home projects that were already on our "to do" list and added some fun activities like movie night or game night. We even participated in a virtual trivia night with friends and family who live in different states. The highlight of our quarantine is that we rescued a dog from K-9 Lifesavers. Her name is Lucy, and she is a sweet nine-week-old chihuahua dachshund mix. Since she is a puppy, we spend a lot of time with her. ~Mrs. Messing
The highlight of our quarantine is that we rescued a dog from K-9 Lifesavers. Her name is Lucy, and she is a sweet nine-week-old chihuahua dachshund mix.
The first two weeks of quarantine were rough in my house. There was no schedule for either myself nor the kids, and I was just lounging around watching Netflix 24/7 and I didn't leave the house at all. My house was also becoming a disaster; I wasn't even trying to clean up anything. It felt like we were in limbo (remember, this was before Distance Learning officially started). Once we got the official notice that we weren't returning to school at the end of March and that Distance Learning would begin instead, I knew I had to make some changes if I wanted to feel like a normal human again. I got the kids on an official nap/bedtime schedule, I started planning out meals ahead of time to cook, and I started making Bennett clean up his toys every single night (even though I knew the living room would turn out to look exactly the same tomorrow). My husband and I also started going on walks often so that we could get out of the house a little more. I also decided to start making the MOST out of this quarantine as best as possible by doing things I have been pushing off forever or felt like I never had time for. For example, I used to love doing puzzles when I was a teenager, but once I went to college and later became a teacher, I never really found the time for them any longer. But even though I wasn't doing puzzles anymore, I was still collecting really cool ones that I liked whenever I saw them! At the beginning of quarantine I had six puzzles I had never done downstairs in my garage. During quarantine, I've done three of those puzzles so far! I've also done some rearranging of furniture in my home, cleaned out my closet and kids' rooms, and I've also just ordered updated photographs for many picture frames throughout my home. I also have plans to paint my basement which I've been wanting to do for a couple years now... :) ~Mrs. Serna
My husband and I also started going on walks often so that we could get out of the house a little more. I also decided to start making the MOST out of this quarantine as best as possible by doing things I have been pushing off forever or felt like I never had time for.
I've adapted well overall - I'm someone that loves being home and working around the house so quarantine was not a huge transition at first for me. That being said, I miss my old routines of going to work, seeing my students, hanging out with friends or family, and celebrating life events (like birthdays, graduations, weddings, etc) with loved ones!
To adapt to life in quarantine, I've made a mental schedule, making sure to give myself time both for homework and fun activities. My schedule isn't strict--I don't have an exact time of when I want to do things--but it helps me remember what and, approximately, when I want to do things. During the day, I focus on doing homework for the first half of the day, while I play and relax for the other half. Quarantine is hard, but it can be fun if you manage your time properly!~Aurora R.
I’m adapting okay, but I’m SO bored sometimes. ~Anonymous Student
Q2: How have you been keeping in touch with others?
I love that we are now doing weekly Zoom meetings with our classes! It has been great to see so many of my students that I miss so much! I've also been doing Zoom/FaceTime calls with my family and friends about once a week! ~Ms. Finelli
During quarantine, it is important to stay in touch with friends and family. I call my parents daily and use zoom, FaceTime and social media to keep in touch with friends near and far. I even play games with my family via the internet. We play a strategic game, Ticket To Ride, almost nightly with family members in Florida and California!~Mrs. Messing
I FaceTime with my family and friends all the time during quarantine! My mom and I FaceTime together an average of 6-7 times a day! Since I don't get to see anyone other than my husband and kids during quarantine, I love FaceTiming even more now because it makes it seem like I am WITH that person since I can see them as we talk!~Mrs. Serna
I have kept in touch with friends and family through FaceTime, google duo or meet, and zoom calls. I organized some zoom workouts and jeopardy nights with friends, which was really fun. I've also been trying to spread a little joy by sending care packages and letters or artwork by my daughter to friends and family. ~Ms. Dwyer
I've been keeping in touch with others by FaceTiming and texting, mostly texting. I keep in touch with friends the most, but I try to also keep in touch with my family. Playing with my friends while calling is something I do daily, especially with my Italian friends oversea(in Italy).~Aurora R.
Facetime and Zoom. ~Anonymous Student
Q3: What advice do you have for anyone who is feeling anxious during quarantine?
I think that almost everybody is experiencing anxiety during this time. It is really hard to deal with how much we don't know about what's happening and when we will be able to return to normal. I would remind anyone that you are not alone in those feelings and that you have plenty of people (friends, teachers, counselors, family, etc.) that you can reach out to about your feelings. I also keep reminding myself that this WILL end and we WILL get to see each other in person again - even if we don't know when that will be!~Ms. Finelli
...this WILL end and we WILL get to see each other in person again...
I was/am super anxious about quarantine and how long it'll last. I hate missing out on events that were supposed to happen right now, and I miss human interaction so much. However, my advice to anyone who is anxious is to remember that we are being asked to save lives by staying inside our homes and putting some distance between ourselves and friends/family for now. It's NOT like we've been drafted to go to war in a foreign country like past generations were forced to do when lives were at stake. On tough days of mine, I think about this and it helps keep things in perspective. ~Mrs. Serna
...I miss human interaction so much. However, my advice to anyone who is anxious is to remember that we are being asked to save lives by staying inside our homes and putting some distance between ourselves and friends/family for now.
First, I think it is important to know that it is normal to feel anxious sometimes. The best advice I have is to try to do things you enjoy. Listening to music, and singing along, is one way to combat negative feelings. Adding a few dance moves will really bring up your spirits. Make a daily routine and be sure to include exercise in your schedule. Include reaching out to your friends, family, or maybe even your teacher for ideas about what to do may help. The first week of quarantine I asked my students to write about their experience so far. After reading their ideas, I decided to try out some of them. The most important thing to know is that you are not alone, and there is still time to learn, grow, hope and dream. If you are still feeling stressed, feel free to email me or a trusted friend. ~Mrs. Messing
The most important thing to know is that you are not alone...
I think it's important to remember that it's normal to feel anxious right now. My best advice would be to show yourself some grace and take it one day at a time. Try to channel the anxiety into an activity. For example, create an artwork, bake something, build something, fix something, or workout. I have been trying to start each day by going on a run or walk and I try to end the day identifying things that I'm thankful for. Lastly, I have found that giving to others has helped my mental health tremendously, whether that be mailing someone a letter, helping a neighbor, or even just a call/text to check in with a friend - focusing on what I can do to help another person feel better brings me joy and peace in this crazy time.
...it's important to remember that it's normal to feel anxious right now. My best advice would be to show yourself some grace and take it one day at a time.
My advice to anyone anxious during these crazy, troubling times in quarantine is to keep yourself busy and surround yourself (well, not literally) by close friends and family who you know will always bring a smile on your face! An Athenian named Euripides once said, "Friends show their love in times of trouble, not in happiness," The times we are living in are extremely troubling, but at least we know we can always count on family and friends, the family we choose. ~Aurora R.
The times we are living in are extremely troubling, but at least we know we can always count on family and friends, the family we choose.