Coping With COVID
Updated: Mar 11, 2021
By: Mallory Grimm
Plans interrupted. The world population put on pause to slow the spread of COVID-19. Thousands of college students finishing their semester virtually. Families staying inside their houses for weeks. Quarantine.
For students at WT, the spring 2020 semester threw a curveball in their academic and personal lives. Putting your life on pause to stay at home for a long period of time with a disrupted routine is a tough pill to swallow, especially for college students. Going from having a busy routine and being on the go, to stopping everything you’re doing and staying home is difficult, and WT students are no exception.
Hannah Franklin, a Junior Broadcast Journalism major, packed up her dorm room and ventured back home to Lubbock to be with her family during the quarantine.
While back at home, Hannah had to learn how to do her online classes while coexisting in the same space as her family. She made a to-do list of what tasks she needed to get done for the day, prioritized her homework, and made a schedule for herself. “I’m very routine oriented, and I love having a schedule.” Hannah said.
When she wasn’t working on her studies, Hannah would find ways to keep herself busy. She would write letters to her friends, where they would play games like hangman and tic-tac-toe. With the increase of free time, an increase of social media usage happened as well. In between waiting for the next letter in the mail, Hannah enjoyed looking through Instagram as a way to find tips and tricks in real time on how to be active and safe during the quarantine. She would take walks with her family in the evenings get some exercise and reconnect with one another.
“I was discouraged at first about the situation,” Hannah said. “But I had to realize it’s out of my control, and learned to have grace with myself.”
While the quarantine was a chance to separate yourself from the virus, others were afraid of it coming into their homes. New information about the virus was being presented every day, and many families were faced with uncertainty about their safety. For families with relatives working in healthcare, even having them in their home was a concern. Sadie Rivera, a Sophomore Music Education major, quarantined with a working nurse in Junction, Texas.
“We were so scared of it at first,” said Sadie. “We didn’t know how easily it could spread.” To ease their minds and cope with the fear and uncertainty, many would turn to the virtual spaces of TikTok and Netflix. A big trend included making whipped coffee, a concoction that consists of whipping up instant coffee, sugar, and hot water together and topping it off over an iced milk of choice. Sadie tried the infamous whipped coffee trend, while watching episodes of the documentary Tiger King series on Netflix. Tiger King is a documentary series, showing the real life rivalry of big cat conservationists Joe Exotic and Carole Baskin, and rose to popularity during April of the quarantine.
Dawn Huseman, a senior Education major, quarantined with her fiancé. While she was inside, she listened to true crime podcasts, and rewatched comfort TV shows like Grey’s Anatomy. Watching TikTok videos was also a big part of Dawn’s routine, as well as trying a few trends, such as the “Renegade”.
“I didn’t post any of them, but I enjoyed trying the new dance challenges,” Dawn said.
Eleisha Miller, a junior Vocal Performance major from Amarillo, homeschooled during high school, and was used to her classes being online. But finding new ways to keep herself busy during quarantine was a challenge.
“We thought this (quarantine) would be for two weeks,” Eleisha said. “When it became longer, I realized I needed to find a way to keep myself busy.”
Eleisha began to take a daily walk with her family to get some sunshine, and began at home workout routines to keep her body active. She started making homemade masks to give away to her friends to help them stay safe as they ventured out for essential errands. At the start of quarantine, people made a mad dash to the store to stock up on food and supplies, especially toilet paper. While people swarmed the grocery stores for essential items, Eleisha started learning how to preserve food to make it last longer so she wouldn’t have to go to the store as often.
“My mother was raised by her grandparents, who lived during the Great Depression, so she taught me what they taught her how to preserve their food.” Eleisha said.
“For example, if you have leftover chicken or beef, you grind it up and put it in a salad with pasta to stretch it out for another two weeks.”
At the end of the day Eleisha found social media to be a great way to relax and unwind. She says “I liked seeing everyone finding their own ways to stay positive during the uncertainty of quarantine.”
Even through the chaos and uncertainty, we learned how to survive in our own ways. While we were isolated from each other in person, we were still able to connect with our loved ones. Thanks to the Internet, we were able to see each other through the channels of social media and Zoom (and the occasional socially distant visit). We found new hobbies to help us find a sense of normalcy, such as writing letters, exercising, cooking, or dancing along with people on TikTok. We found how to cope in the middle of a pandemic, which was never on anyone’s mind. While we might have been by ourselves, we were never alone, if anything, we were stronger and more connected during the quarantine.