Pandemic Transitions

July 29, 2020

A teen writes about the unexpected gift of time the quarantine afforded her and her family.

CORONAVIRUS CHRONICLES

-Series Editor: H. Steven Moffic, MD

Ms Goldstein is from Evanston, IL. She is 15 years old.

I started easing back into more regular social interactions after the pandemic restrictions relaxed; with that came inevitable anxiety. Days after connecting with friends, I would worry about a temporary cough or a fluctuating temperature. Many may remember quarantine as a halt to the economy and a period of isolation. Nevertheless, many opportunities for connection have presented themselves in the past few months, particularly a developing closeness within my family.

Though I rarely saw my grandparents in person during the pandemic, I have treasured our daily phone calls. Within my own home, I have connected with my brother and my busy parents in a more meaningful way. As our communities slowly open up, valuable time with family seems to be diminishing.

While quarantine gave me more time to spend with my newly employed father, his full-time schedule shortened our time spent studying, biking, and playing board games. As many of us return to our former routines, we might experience the same sense of withdrawal from our families.

The unexpected gift of time we had to do things together in quarantine may also disappear. During quarantine, I began to wake up at 7:30 each day to take a morning bike ride with my father. Using the mornings allowed my father to start work at 9 and still left time in the evening to spend with me.

While I fear all the work toward family amity will lessen, we will make a concerted and conscious effort to nurture that closeness in our family. Even with fewer opportunities to spend time with my family, I hope to sustain the relationships the quarantine strengthened.