Corona Diaries 12th - 21st by rachel brennan

March 12, 2020 - Thursday

Earlier today and even yesterday, we had been hearing things about schools closing around us and teachers had been talking to us about what their plan is just in case we were to close for a few weeks. That day, Olentangy had closed and it only convinced people that this was our last week of school for a while.

But it was at the end of eighth period when everyone started freaking out, yelling, “Three weeks off!” The governor had announced that starting at the end of the school day on Friday, all Ohio schools will be shut down for at least three weeks and after the weeks are over, the virus would be reevaluated. Everyone seemed ecstatic that school was canceled; in the hallways, the volume seemed to be ten times the normal. The students didn’t seem to be freaked out by the pandemic while there were adults acting as if it was the end of the world.

My mom went to Kroger after work to pick up a few things (water, milk, bread, etc) and she said there were people running through the store and down the aisles. There was no toilet paper, only a few bottles of water, and two loaves of bread left.

Empty Kroger aisles

March 13, 2020 - Friday

All day, teachers gave us papers we would need over the three-week break and made sure we know where to look for announcements. And after school, my mom and I had gone to Target to grab whatever was left as there was a rumor that the city would be quarantined. The bottled water and toilet paper/paper towel aisle were completely cleared out except for a few rolls of paper towels.

Target toilet paper and paper towel aisle

When we were walking in, we saw someone that had a cart overflowing with bags of groceries and a lady wearing a paper-thin mask over her nose and mouth. People were overreacting so badly that they were practically buying the whole store. And the restaurants were packed; the drive-through lines were exceptionally long and the parking lot in front of restaurants were filled.

When we got home, we had to clean out the pantry and fridge to clear out space for the new groceries we needed to put away and even then, it was still packed with food. We tried to buy mostly chips and pretzels, canned chicken and tuna, canned soups, and Lunchables.

My fridge and pantry

But even with everything going on, I was still able to live my life. My friend had her 16th birthday party tonight and she had a small group of friends over. The Corona virus only came up once while we talked and it was nice to have a conversation without someone mentioning the virus. But even if I was still able to go to her birthday party, it didn’t mean everything else was still happening.

I had been helping my dad coach his soccer game during the indoor season and we had three games left, one of which I was going to be coaching myself. But all soccer activity was canceled or put on hold because of the virus until at least April 3rd. I also won’t be able to spend my friend’s birthday with her next week and both the Eight Grade Activity Fair and Pancake Day were postponed.

Left - before the virus. Right - after the virus.

March 16, 2020 - Monday

All restaurants were closed at 9 PM last night because of how many people were still gathering at them to sit down and eat or drink at the bars even though the governor had said no mass gatherings over 100 people. Most places are still doing delivery/take-out and drive-through. Stores are also completely emptying out because of the people who are hoarding supplies and freaking out about the pandemic.

Kroger frozen pizza, milk, and meat aisles

Today was the actual start of the Corona virus break and technically our spring break. But because we pretty much have had to self-quarantine the past few days, I wasn’t able to do much today. And my dad’s going to be staying home from work over the break because the number of people in his building is larger than the number of kids in a school.

My mom has been helping our neighbor, who has had a bunch of health problems and recently had bronchitis. She can’t even get her mail or take out her trash by herself so my mom went over there last night, wearing gloves because she was touching surfaces in her house. My mom is going over again tonight to help her clean up and give her some much-needed company.

March 17, 2020 - Tuesday

I would have had the first girls soccer practice to kick start the spring season today and another practice on Thursday and a game on Saturday. But instead, I sat inside all day watching TV and doing homework. And I haven’t been able to see the girls for almost two weeks because everyone is stuck in their houses and all activities and sports were canceled. I was so excited to be able to get to see the team three times a week and be able to coach them this season so I was incredibly disappointed when everything got canceled.

Today is my best friend’s 16th birthday. I was going to take her out to eat and spend the rest of the day with her after school but now, I don’t even get to spend today with her and tomorrow I might be able to only stop by to give her a present.

I hate how much the virus has affected my life. Like, this summer I was going to go on the Europe trip with the History department and now it’s either getting canceled altogether or they’re going to move it to next summer. That trip was something my friends and I had been looking forward to and now it may not be happening at all.

March 18, 2020 - Wednesday

I found out today that they moved back the date to restart all soccer activity to April 12th so it’ll be almost a month until I get to see the girls again and I’m able to get back on the field, both doing drills with them and coaching them during games. I always looked forward to practices and games with them because it was always the highlight of my week and it was taken away from me.

But with nothing to do all day besides sit around and watch TV, I’ve started drawing simple things in my sketchbook again because I used to draw a lot when I was younger but never got the time to continue doing it. So since we’re locked inside, I’ve been both writing and drawingㅡtwo things I usually don’t get to do during the school year because of how busy I am with homework. Even though this break and the Coronavirus has caused events to be canceled, it’s given me time to do things I usually don’t have time for.

I also get to see my best friend tomorrow because I’ve been needing to drop off her birthday present and get a homework packet she picked up for me Friday. It’ll be nice to see her after not being with her for a week.

March 19, 2020 - Thursday

There’s a rumor that the governor might close down all stores for the weekend so the workers can go home and get some rest, and they have a chance to clean everything and restock the store. But it also may just be a rumor. Even so, my mom still went to the store after work to grab anything we would need just in case they did close everything. She had bought more stuff than a normal grocery shop. I don’t think I’ve ever seen our pantry and fridge so full. But we still can’t find toilet paper.

But I was allowed to drive over to my friend’s house today. We sat on her porch for almost an hour because her mom didn’t want me inside the house since she had gotten sick a little bit ago and was still a bit weak. It was nice to talk to her again and for the most part, we were talking about things that had nothing to do with the Coronavirus. It had even started to sprinkle and then pour on us but we still sat outside together as we knew it would probably be a while before we would see each other again.

March 20, 2020 - Friday

My mom decided she’s going to be working from home today and probably will be for the rest of the quarantine so she isn’t outside and then could possibly be exposed to anything even though she would probably be safer in her office considering no one is ever really there. Her and my dad both made little workspaces in the house that they’ve dedicated as their ‘office.’

My dad also wants to make small videos for his girls’ soccer team so they have something to do over the break. It would be videos of me doing small drills, exercises, and foot skills that they can practice on their own. And since it was pretty warm out yesterday, I was able to get outside a lot. My dog and I sat in our backyard for a while and it was nice to be able to get out of the house.

Stores are still running out of resources (baby and disinfecting wipes, water bottles, toilet paper, meats, bread, and eggs). People are going crazy and it’s only making this problem worse because they’re raiding stores and hoarding food that other people - especially the old - need and aren’t able to get.

March 21, 2020 - Saturday

Starting last night and today, people started something on their Instagram stories where even in all the craziness, they’re still trying to keep positive and not let the outside world affect them. The posts have usually been reading, “Too often women find it easy to criticize each other instead of building each other up. With all the negativity going around, let’s try to do something positive. Post one picture of yourself. Only you! Then tag 10 women to do the same. Even if I didn’t tag you, do it anyways. Build yourself and others up instead of tearing them down” with who tagged them and 10 people they want to do it next. Even though people are freaking out around the world and aren’t thinking straight, seeing these on everyone’s stories was a nice reminder that not everything has been corrupted.

It’s been hard to find things to do during the break that won’t get boring too quickly. And since it was so cold today, I couldn’t go outside so I ended up watching TV and starting on some homework that’s due early next week. It’s also hard to be technically locked up with your family all the time because parents aren’t working and you and siblings aren’t at school so we’re all getting sick of each other pretty quickly.


Created with an image by Erik Mclean - "untitled image"