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Staff COVID-19 Journals: Peyton

4/7/20: You remember that weird birthday gift your aunt bought you in fourth grade? The one that looked incredibly boring, highly unlikely to ever be touched, and ended up shoved in the back of the closet? What better time than now to put that spent money to use right? As unforeseen, unorthodox, and unusual this COVID 19 quarantine has been, it should at least be portrayed in a good light. Even though schools have instated “remote learning” and- at least some- parents/guardians have gone spring cleaning crazy, there is still a lot of free time on student’s hands (for me at least). In my spare time today, I decided to do a puzzle that I got when I was probably in fifth grade… I’m in eighth grade now. It was super fun even though it only took an hour or so. Meanwhile, others I know are catching up on some much needed sleep and relaxation. Likewise, as odd as this may sound this social distancing has lifted a lot of stress off students’ shoulders. No mandatory and constant 6:00-7:00am wake-ups, no projects to do on top of homework in every class, no worrying about grades or tests. Therefore, enjoy this time while you can (especially since we have no idea when it will end). Spend time with your family, read that book your friend suggested to you, beat that one difficult level in a video game, most importantly; stay safe, healthy, and happy.

4/9/20 Journal Entry: Little change has happened since last week. I’ve finished some books but have yet to touch another puzzle. Maybe I’ll try one tomorrow, it’s not like I have anything better to do especially since it is a holiday break day. On a lighter note, earlier today my mom made a delicious bowl of salsa. My entire family loves it but normally I eat more than my fair share just as I plan to do this time as well. As for remote learning, the lessons are less difficult than they are time consuming, who knows though, maybe that’s the point. Either way, I’m enjoying it, my brother is a different story but I think it’s fun. Speaking of, I realized the other day that I didn’t have the google classroom app on my phone. It wasn’t really that shocking to me since I try to avoid using my phone at school but- due to the circumstances- I figured why not? and downloaded it. Now I realize what I’ve been missing out on! It’s a much more productive way to get notifications about what’s going on in my classes. Especially since I no longer have teachers to remind me of things in school and don’t check my email at the start of class anymore. Also, as if being home didn’t disrupt enough of my usual routine, my two dogs may as well be in Neverland. The days of being locked up in a kennel for six to seven hours (because they chew EVERYTHING) are non-existent. Plus, anytime they want to be pet or sit with a person, there are a minimum of two people at the house constantly. However, this arrangement is not panning out well for me. I can’t read or watch TV without the dogs barking their heads off nor can I sit down without one of them crawling into my lap. Plus, even if they didn’t I can’t stay sitting down long because they constantly want to go outside and back in. As much as I love my dogs, right now I’d much prefer they cool it for just one day.

4/16/20: As this whole quarantine thing has escalated, my family has actually begun to do some of the safety suggestions. Obviously, we had already been staying inside, washing our hands regularly, cleaning, etc. but- as insubstantial as it seems- we hadn’t gone much farther. However, my mom got a few days in a row off and, wow, we did a lot. For example, we all pitched in to help make masks. My mom did most of it, I would help when she needed more hands then she had, and my brother (as I sure others that have younger siblings have said before) stayed out of the way. That is until we needed him to model of course. Additionally, as I said, my mom has been really busy lately and my brother and I are slackers so our backyard turned into a jungle of sorts. With no one in the family having anything on their schedule, the three of us stayed out there for about an hour just pulling weeds. The next day, my mom and I picked up dog poop and mowed and raked the grass area. Like I said in one of my previous entries, though it’s not really what I meant, if you have the ability to spend time with your family during this time then do. Don’t find some bad excuse not to because most people can’t say “I’m busy” anymore. Speaking of family time, when my mom is away at work I have been finding myself spending more and more of my free time with my younger brother. Honestly, this quarantine is either making me a better person and sister or is making me lose my mind.

5/7/20: As I assume is alike with everyone else’s, over these past couple weeks my schedule hasn’t changed whatsoever. Eat, homework, eat, be bored, sleep, repeat. About every two weeks, my mom drags me to the grocery store to shop but then I don’t do anything special for another fourteen days or so. As of right now, there is only one advantage to all of this free time for me: Mother’s Day. In elementary school, holidays like Mother’s Day were accounted for. All of the teachers either had their own little project for the students to do or everyone in one grade gathered at once for an activity. However, as we have matured to junior high and high school, we have been left to fend for ourselves. I’m sure some resort to no physical gifts at all, words and actions work just as well. Then again, in my opinion, those gifts aren’t quite as memorable compared to something that can be on display in the house. Either way, mothers (and fathers just not in this month) deserve a day to be as appreciated as possible. In other news, I haven’t seen my brother’s face in probably three days. He has been holed up in his room and the only times he emerges from his cave is to use the bathroom, come downstairs to get food (which he’ll eat upstairs) and when I yell his name from downstairs at 9:00am to wake him up (causing him to go to the top of the stairs and yell at me). Currently, I’m happy with the arrangement. I get the first floor all to myself and he gets his room to himself. Eventually I’m sure he’ll meet the sun again but for now I get to work on my gift for my mom in secrecy.

by Peyton Erb

Photo courtesy of website

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