NECC Observer

The student news website of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill and Lawrence, Mass.

A day in quarantine: A high school student shares her story

 Have you ever watched one of those movies or films where the characters day keeps restarting or repeating each time they wake up? Sort of like a time loop. Well that is exactly the way my life has been lately. 
I chose the title “A Day in Quarantine” for this essay, because every day is the same. I only need to explain one day and then multiply that by the number of days I’ve been in quarantine. I feel like my life is on replay; like I am being forced to relive the same day every day. 
It wasn’t too bad at first, but I didn’t think it would last this long. So many plans and ideas destroyed by coronavirus. So many days wasted. It is like everything began unraveling. First, school is cancelled. Then work. Then businesses. Everything! Until all you have left is your house.  
But, like I said, it wasn’t bad at first, I’ll tell you why. When I first heard that school would be cancelled due to the new coronavirus, I was so excited. I saw it as a break. I was so stressed with school and assignments. I thought “Hey, finally a break to relax and catch up on assignments.” I was so relieved to be home with nothing but time.
Time to work on all those missing assignments, time to organize my life, time to relax and let go of all the stress, time to get more shifts at work. See, I was excited. A day went by. Life was good, no school! I was staying up late, sleeping all I wanted, watching all the Netflix I wanted.  
Then a week went by, feels like a school break, life is still good. All I see are funny memes on Facebook and other social media. Then two weeks went by, and three weeks. Then a whole month went by. This is when my life started getting chaotic, like the time loop. This is when life started to repeat. When the date to go back to school kept getting delayed. April…then May 4th… Now, we’re not going back to school until the next school year.  
This is when everything started to hit me. I am not a senior yet, so I won’t be missing out on important once-in-a-lifetime events like prom, or graduation, or senior activities. But I’ll be missing out on other things that I have worked so hard for. Like SAT prep so that I can pass my SATs.  I was working on my college essay with my counselors and talking about schools and requirements. I was so excited. Now all of that has been taken away from me.  
I was working so hard to make my senior year easier. Working on my resume, my college essay, and researching schools so that I can have everything done when the time came. I feel like I have more to worry about than before all of this happened.  
Now, I’ve been home a little over a month. No school, no work, no anything.  It’s been difficult, especially with no work. See, school, I can handle being without for some time, but work? I’m losing my mind. I work in a nursing home as a certified nursing assistant. I love my job, I love my residents, and I love my co-workers. I love going to work. When they cancelled school, I immediately picked up shifts at work. I was so eager to be working more often.
Sadly, a couple weeks into the lockdown because of the virus, my mom made me stop working. I was so infuriated when she told me I couldn’t go back to work. She warned me every day. As soon as I arrived home, I had to put my scrubs in a bag, take off my shoes and leave them outside, and rush to the bathroom to get clean. I was willing to do this every time I got home from work.
I was so enraged that my mom didn’t let me work because I didn’t care if residents and patients at my job were getting sick. I didn’t care if I had to wear a mask that fogged up my goggles or wear a gown and goggles as soon as I walked into work.
Nothing mattered to me because I work in the dementia unit. I care for people that don’t even know what’s going on because they don’t even know their own names. I care for individuals that don’t even realize that their families stopped visiting weeks ago because they are not allowed to anymore. What does matter to me is the fact that now there are less and less nurses there to help. Less CNAs every day who stop going into work because of the dangerous circumstances.   
So now that I am not working, or going to school, my days look the same. I wake up at the same time. Eat at the same time. Log into Google Classroom and Blackboard at the same time. Then eat again. Watch Netflix. Sleep. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. I love my family, but I’m tired of seeing the same faces every day. I have never valued school so much like I do now.
Editors’s Note: Xochilth is a Lawrence High School Early College student at NECC. She wrote this for an English Comp 102 class and shared it with the NECC Observer.