It is hard to look back at the end of 2019 and see where we are today. Thankfully schools and universities have transitioned to remote learning, which has kept us safe. I finished my undergrad from a remote learning environment.
But life has become weird. In the beginning, people didn’t think much of the quarantine or lockdown because they were new and novel. We didn’t have an idea of how it was going to be. I remember going outside to see a few people wearing masks or gloves, but at home, things were mostly normal. It felt like a long weekend. As the quarantine kept going, things changed.
If you go to a supermarket, people look scared. Everyone is wearing masks, giving a glimpse of a reality that we never imagined would exist around us. And living at home has changed. It isn’t a long weekend anymore, but a new reality seemingly without end. It feels like my life is on pause and the months are going by with me watching from inside my house.
Some people adapted better to the situation of being locked inside for so long. If you live in a house and have a backyard or can go for a walk, you are probably doing better than someone in an apartment or condo building.
People turned to watching TV and movies to keep sane. Netflix has had an amazing year. But the main outlet for the younger generation is video games. The hot game from Nintendo is “Animal Crossing: New Horizons” a sandbox game where you move to a deserted island and have a new life there. This game has proved an amazing tool for young people to escape the reality of the situation we are in. I have personally put in 95 hours of play in just over a month while my girlfriend has put in more than 120 hours. The game has been a smashing success.
Sometimes I go outside to capture photos of how life looks during this weird time. I try to capture the feeling of uneasiness. It helps that before the pandemic, I played Pokémon Go and visited places like the FIU campus during off-hours. In my work now, something that can’t go unnoticed is the respiratory mask and gloves that add to the atmosphere of post-apocalypse. Even though we are doing okay so far, let’s hope things smooth over and the light at the end of the tunnel becomes more visible, giving people the hope and strength to keep sane. We don’t know when things will go back to normal, but I think we got a glimpse of how quickly things can go bad and I hope we never forget that lesson.