Our Quaranteenage Life

April 30 2020 Ella Horgan 5th Year

Welcome to our blog here in St Angela’s. As each one of us is all stuck in quarantine very far apart and unable to see each other, what better way to come together remotely than to share our common experiences.

The entire world is experiencing this COVID-19 pandemic together and there’s a great sense of unity about it. Communities seem closer than ever, while maintaining a 2-metre distance of course! The internet and technology make it very accessible to maintain contact. Personally, one of the strangest aspects of this period of isolation is the warped sense of time distorting the usual structure of our lives. As I write this, we are on our 48th day since the schools closed, and it seems like all that was another life. For the most part, I’m enjoying my time and not having to conform to a very tight schedule. I generally go to school from 9 am to 4 pm, have supervised study in school, and then go to dance class in the evenings. When government restrictions hit so quickly the sudden absence of all of this in my life was quite impactful. I was looking ahead at weeks or months of nothingness and isolation and it was quite daunting.

However, along with the entire world, I got on with it and adapted to this ‘new normal’. It is fascinating how close to normal we are functioning, being able to attend school and dance classes from my sitting room and progress forward remotely is impressive. There are many upsides to all of this time we possess at the moment. In the last few weeks, I’ve started and finished a book for the first time in about 6 years! I’ve spent a lot more time outside and the nice spell of weather we’re having is improving things a lot. We have renovated our garden and it’s clear for the first time in my life. I spend an hour on the hammock every day and it’s great for all the stress on everyone’s mind at the moment. I bake at least twice a week, which is so enjoyable, my family is loving it too! I’m keeping myself busy during breaks from studying with new hobbies like guitar and yoga.

I think the phrase that best relates to right now is “Distance makes the heart grow fonder.” During normal circumstances, I would never be away from my friends for such a long period of time, and although it’s hard, I think I’m learning a lot from it. I call some of my best friends for a few hours in the evening, and this is similar to being together as we would be in school. I’ve come to appreciate absolutely everything a lot more. I miss my granny a lot. She lives alone, so it’s been very difficult in that respect. We call to her almost every day and sit outside the front door, but I can’t wait until she can regain her independence to go for walks and visit friends etc.

Some days I’m at peace with quarantine and I enjoy it, but other days all I want is to walk around town with my friends after school and return to normal. For now, I think all we can do is follow all the guidelines, hope the lockdown in Ireland is lifted soon and make the most of this free time.