At Vanguard, your story matters. So, I decided to tell some of the quarantine stories of Vanguard students and staff.
I myself have barely been affected by this quarantine because of how introverted I am. With everyone home 24/7, my room is the one place I can attend class Zooms in. I am currently unemployed, so I’m not looking forward to trying to find a job in the middle of a pandemic. We celebrated my mom’s birthday during the quarantine with cake, presents and takeout from Buca di Beppo, which was fun.
The quarantine has awakened my sister’s inner interior designer. She started buying up a bunch of patio furniture and furnishings and bought as many succulents as she could get her hands on from a local nursery. Throw in a matching rug, and now it is the best room in the house.
Alexa Ramirez, Senior, Biology/Pre-Med
Upon returning home, Alexa now finds herself living with 8 other people. Naturally, this makes focusing difficult. She also needed to make serious adjustments to her living space. “I didn’t have a room, bed, or living area in general because I never planned on living back home, but that’s changed since moving back.” She also helps her kindergartner brother with schoolwork.
The bright side of this new living arrangement is that she lives only 15 minutes away from her boyfriend instead of 4 hours. She also has grocery shopped for some immunocompromised friends. “Life has changed in many unforeseen ways but I couldn’t be more grateful.”
Victoria Cierley, Senior, Theology
Victoria said some good things about the quarantine were that it gave her more time for her 2-D multi-media art, allows her to process things that she might normally run from, and she’s being more intentional with relationships. “Now that everyone has to rely on Facetime and Zoom, it’s easier to get in touch with friends who live far away or people I normally take for granted.” She also has more time to cook, and make whatever she likes, rather than the same old thing.
The downside is that working from home is a lot more distracting. She misses interacting with others physically as well. “I miss the incense smoke of my friend’s apartment, and the lighting at NEAT coffee, and experimenting in the kitchen with my old roommate. I miss bringing flowers to my house church, and the smells of the pho restaurant next door, and hearing the soft gasp of my too-smart classmate when he gets an “aha” moment during a lecture.” She’s also concerned that the class of 2020 is going to be entering the world in this state.
Trevor Torres, Graduate Student, Education
Schools being closed have unfortunately altered Trevor’s educational requirement to complete his degree. Problem is, he says the alterations no longer offer the same value or experience of in-person class sessions. He also points out that online learning is a privilege, as some students simply are unable to learn remotely. “In my Masters program as well as in the rest of the country, I think people are learning and recognizing the disparities and inequities that arise from distance learning through technology.”
Anna Laine, Senior, Music/Psychology/Religion
Anna decided to fly to the Joint Base Andrews air base in Maryland to help babysit her nephews when the campus closed. As her flight home has been canceled twice, she is stuck with her nephews and aunt and uncle. She says it’s been great; “I got to see the DC cherry blossoms bloom and drove by some national monuments in DC. I’ve gotten into coloring and reading these last couple of weeks which has been fun.”
Karen Nishie, Communications Faculty
Professor Nishie says that the isolation is not good for her at all. But on the plus side, it brought her closer to some of her neighbors. “One positive is I’ve reached out to a couple of my older neighbors and offered to go to the market for them and they were so surprised and so eager for conversation that I feel much more neighborly toward them than previously.”
Got a quarantine story you’d like to share with the Vanguard Voice? Send it to @vuvoice on Instagram.