A Quarantine Retrospective

Erin Lee, Feature Editor

Many people seem to have lost the motivation to do things the pandemic drags on. Cartoon by Cavalcade Staff.

With quarantine, it is a general consensus that there has been a lot gained during the process; maybe a reflection on oneself, self-growth, mastery of the perfect pecan pie, or one’s weight.  The pandemic has shifted our vibrant social lives filled with the hubbub of human interaction to hermit couch potatoes trying to scavenge ways to keep ourselves occupied at home. But it is in these times that we find ourselves as teenagers.

“Quarantine has taught me to listen to myself. It gave me the time I needed to dissect my thoughts and allow me to set up proper boundaries for myself,” said Mary Ramada, senior. 

Like Ramada, many of us faced the side of ourselves that we did not want to. We learned to assess and find root causes of our social anxiety, insecurities related to body image and problems with relationships and to slowly find ways to overcome them. The hectic lives of high schoolers can often divert attention elsewhere, whether that be homework, managing clubs, or attending competitions. However, during quarantine, this activity and work diminished significantly, allowing our inner selves to slowly resurface in all their beautiful imperfection. 

Results from an Instagram poll of 100 Woodson students. Image by Naomi Scully-Bristol.

A Cavalcade Instagram poll of 100 Woodson students roughly showed that half of those surveyed had a positive experience with quarantine. Although quarantine is an ongoing process as virus cases have surged in recent weeks, it is as though many Woodson students have found themselves with the time to mature and grow as humans, judging from their positive responses. 

“Like many others, I initially felt a sense of boredom and emptiness because I was isolated in my home for so long. However, I found time for new hobbies and exercise, which has allowed me to balance my academic and personal life,” said Daniel Yang, senior. “My life is more fulfilling now, ever since quarantine.”

On the other hand,  it is important to note that not all responses were in favor of quarantine. In fact, the other half of the respondents told us they had a negative experience or are currently experiencing one. Frankly, no one can blame them. Quarantine is sickening, and months have seemed to fly by fruitless. While quarantine may have provided us an avenue for self growth, it also serves as an important lesson to all that this should never be repeated. As much as some of us have carefully mended our mental and physical health, it is a highly popular opinion that many would have found their lives content without quarantine occurring in the first place. 

This past week, Virginia governor Ralph Northam mandated restrictions on restaurant operations and gatherings as new cases spiked. So please. Wear masks. Socially distance. Refrain from traveling and leaving the house to attend large parties and social events irresponsibly. 

We as teenagers have grown enough for now. Do your part. Let’s end this dreaded quarantine.