Coronavirus Journals, Weeks 4-5 (spring break edition)

Students reflect on the Covid-19 crisis and how it’s affecting their lives

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Centers for Disease Control

The novel COVID-19 has affected millions of people around the world and has triggered worldwide school closures – including at Granite Bay High.

We are living in unprecedented times in America — Covid-19 has shut the country down and  triggered an astonishing economic collapse. But it’s also personal, and it’s being lived out in the homes of thousands of Granite Bay High students, faculty and staff. GraniteBayToday.org staffers and other students have been keeping journals reflecting on and reacting to what’s been happening during this crisis, and we are publishing some of the entries each week.

Stay strong, and wash your hands.

The Editors

Weeks 4-5 (including Spring Break)

April 15  – Spring break has just ended and we’re back to regular sessions again. They just declared how the grading system would work for the rest of the semester and honestly, I’m not against it since it won’t affect me either way. However, although most students will take full advantage of how lenient the system is now, I feel bad for the kids who actually don’t have access to the internet or resources and am frustrated that the district didn’t find other options and chose to ignore all the voices who advocated for more equity during the district call. Now, they just declared another meeting on how graduation is going to go so we’re just waiting right now.

-May Lin

I miss people. I miss hugs and talking. But I have books! I have books to read and pastries to bake and tea to steep and small flowers to spritz with water every few days. I’ll be OK.”

— Bella Khor

April 16  – I’m so tired. I’m trying to get myself back to a somewhat regular sleep schedule, and I am so, so tired. It’s like I’m mentally and physically exhausted all of the time, and the only thing I can do to help myself feel better is make a cup of tea and back some pastries. I’m ignoring the news for the most part. I check maybe once or twice a week to get a feel for what’s going on in the world, and then I have to stop before I start panicking more over what I cannot control. I have mastered making croissants, and now whenever I want a fresh croissant, I pop a couple of them into the oven for 20 minutes. It’s the little things that are getting me by at this point. I have realized that I haven’t talked to more than three of my friends for the entirety of this quarantine, and I decided that wasn’t acceptable. I sent out a text in the groupchat, we’re all going to have a zoom call over lunch on Saturday, and I will make this a recurring meeting. This way we actually talk to each other. I miss people. I miss hugs and talking. But I have books! I have books to read and pastries to bake and tea to steep and small flowers to spritz with water every few days. I’ll be OK.

Bella Khor

April 15  – Every day watching the news just makes me more and more upset. Obviously through all of the reported death tolls rising seemingly exponentially every day, but also through the sheer incompetence that our government has displayed in their handling of this. Politicians completely ignoring doctors’ advice in the name of reopening markets is a hazard to the public health and will directly lead to the deaths of thousands or more, and seeing people protest lockdowns by entering large groups and endangering not just each other but the loved ones around them honestly makes me lose what little faith I had in the American people.

-Sean Turner

… seeing people protest lockdowns by entering large groups and endangering not just each other but the loved ones around them honestly makes me lose what little faith I had in the American people.”

— Sean Turner

April 16  – Although I live with the lingering reality that I won’t be able to experience my senior year to its fullest, today was a happy day. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been around Granite Bay football. Over the past four years I’ve had the opportunity to not only play football for my own pleasure, but for my family, blood related and otherwise. Granite Bay Football gave me the best four years of my life. It taught me how to be a man, how to cope with disappointment and handle success, and now I have the opportunity to give back and pass on what I learned as a coach. It’s been a topic of conversation for a while between my dad and I for a while and yesterday it was officially announced. It felt like the logical next step; I’m going to Sierra and staying home for the next two years and my dad and grandpa both coach, so why not? This was a nice change of pace from the usual monotonous disappointment that seems to be all too common nowadays. 

Brent Evans

April 16  Now that there is only about a month left in the school year, I lack any proper motivation to do a lot of the assignments I’m getting. I can’t tell if it’s senioritis, or if being stuck inside all day is starting to drain me mentally. The work I’m being asked to do in some of my classes seems so trivial when compared to the grand scheme of things. How can anyone truly feel motivated enough to put their all into what they’re doing when so much of our lives have been completely consumed? I can’t even record the assignment I need to get done for my media class without a few news notifications popping up to let me know the world’s still ending. It just feels like busy work that, in the end, doesn’t matter. When everything you do is just a distraction, at what point does it stop working?

-JJ Hill

April 16  I thought that I was handling this well, but it’s really been hitting me hard this week. I feel really lonely and separated from many of the people that I love and see on a daily basis. I’ve been told that when we do return to school, it won’t be the same as it was before all of this began. I’m upset that the road back to normalcy is going to be such a long one. I understand that it must be done, I understand that I’m lucky, but it doesn’t make it any less difficult for me to spend every single day in my house almost every single second. I miss everything. There’s nothing else eventful happening in my life anymore. Every day is just filled with me wishing things were different.

-Ali Juell

I thought that I was handling this well, but it’s really been hitting me hard this week. I feel really lonely and separated from many of the people that I love and see on a daily basis.”

— Ali Juell

April 15  I’ve found that it’s becoming more and more hard to be productive when I’m in charge of when I do things. I make a list of things I need to do each day, but then the day ends up going by so quickly and I lose track of time. Lately I’ve been thinking about starting college, and if I will even be able to attend my fall semester in person. I would do anything for life to go back to normal. 

Lindsey Zabell

April 14  Ramadan is only nine days away, and the annual excitement that fills the Muslim community around this time simply is not there.  With all the mosques closed and the whole social distancing mandate, Ramadan just can’t be the same. No more community meals to break our fast together.  No more sleepovers at the mosque. No more youth retreats. No more spiritual talks and late night reflections. The list is endless. This is what disappoints me the most out of every inconvenience this quarantine has brought upon our lives.  Ramadan is a month I look forward to every year to become a better person and strengthen my connection to fellow Muslim peers and my mosque. As the circumstances this year are clearly not ideal, I’m not sure what to look forward to for this month.  I have never felt that way about Ramadan before, and it’s truly depressing.

Heba Bounar

April 15  – Although we haven’t graduated yet, our senior year is basically over. And while many people seem to be despairing over this fact, I can’t help but feel hopeful. To me, high school was just a stepping stone, a method of preparing me for what I would encounter in the real world. Although it didn’t exactly end how I thought it would, I’m glad senior year is over. I get to move on to something new and exciting, and get to leave behind the trivial drama of high school. 

Although it didn’t exactly end how I thought it would, I’m glad senior year is over. I get to move on to something new and exciting, and get to leave behind the trivial drama of high school. ”

— Kate Fernandez

-Kate Fernandez

April 13  – For the first time in the last month in quarantine, I felt fully content. I was able to see my friends’ faces in person (from a distance of six feet of course) as we drove in a parade of cars to surprise our friend for her birthday. Although I wasn’t able to easily and directly communicate with them or give them a hug, I was so happy to see them again after so long. It gave me a remembrance of what reality used to be like, and I am truly grateful. I am grateful to have such wonderful friends, healthy family, and fortunate conditions (considering the circumstances). All in all, today was a great, and fulfilling end to spring break.

-Mareesa Islam

April 14  – It’s the “first day back” from spring break and I am feeling very little motivation to do my school work. The loss of interest I have found in so many of my classes just because I can’t sit in the classroom and learn is crazy. It’s even crazier to me that my five AP tests are only a month away, and I’ll be graduating soon after. Everything went by so fast, but at the same time, taking midterms at school that last day feels like years ago.

– Sophie Criscione

April 14  – I still don’t know what to do to pass the time. I often think about the impact this is having on our world. And I wonder how long all the time. How long until we are free. Until the restrictions are lifted. Will anything ever be exactly the same again? Will we still greet with a handshake, a hug? Will people be scared to leave or restless from having been cooped up for so long? Will they be eager to taste freedom or dreadful of the spread of corona? Will human interaction as we once knew it ever be the same? 

-Ashley Lucia

It’s my dad’s birthday today. … A birthday in quarantine is just like any other day in quarantine. (We) still tried to make it special for him, but I know that it’s not the birthday he wanted.”

— Daryn Conner

April 14  – Today was a bit more of a mental hit than others. I thought I was doing okay and I was staying happy but it all came to a halt today. I’ve been having troubles with being away from my friends. I feel like I’m not really important to people right now and it kind of sucks. I’ve been having trouble staying out of my head. So, I decided to write on a piece of paper. It felt good to let it out, but it felt horrible that I was realizing how much was happening in my head. I laid in the dark for hours and didn’t do the work I should have been doing, but I’m glad I did it. With everything going on, I hadn’t realized that my feelings are valid among everyone else’s. I’m ready to just watch some TV and relax this weekend. I hope tomorrow will be better.

-Ria Dhamejani

April 4  – I hate this so much  – I wish it would just go away. Both of my grandparents are really sick. Today we Facetimed just in case something will happen to them. I couldn’t say anything. I just cried. I can’t believe this is happening. I’m so scared for them  – it’s killing me inside that I can’t even see them in person, I’m starting to remember all the memorize from when I was a kid and we still lived with them, I hate that there is absolutely nothing I can do to just make this go away. i’ve been non-stop crying all day, trying to distract myself with shows and YouTube, chores and homework  – anything to just distract myself from it, I don’t believe in God anymore, but I’m coming to a point of wanting to pray again. I know it won’t do anything, but I just don’t know what else I can do. In the call, my grandpa said make sure to take care of your siblings and as always do good in school. His voice  – you could hear he had trouble speaking and he’d cough mid-sentence. The way he is talking makes it sound as if he’s so sure he was going to die, it hurts so much it’s so hard to describe the pain feeling so helpless. I just don’t want them to die, I want to still come over and have tea and talk about their garden and how the church is doing and how he wishes it would go, now how I wished I would have gone, I can’t make myself be religious again, but just supporting him, I regret not coming over more often, I hate that I didn’t call more I hate that I didn’t come over more to help with the chickens they used to have. Right now they have a chance to go to the hospital but they are choosing to go in the morning – but a lot can happen overnight and it’s scaring me. I just want them to live.

-Julietta Golovey

April 16  – It’s my dad’s birthday today. I feel really bad because he can’t do anything today and he had work calls. I never really thought about people who have birthdays during this time but that must suck. Everyone is used to being with friends and having their day be special, but instead a birthday in quarantine is just like any other day in quarantine. Me and my family still tried to make it special for him, but I know that it’s not the birthday he wanted. I guess that’s really all we can do.

-Daryn Conner

I feel tired and sad. Constantly. I don’t understand what’s going on with my life, with my future, with my friends, with my extended family, with the nation and with the world. I’m running out of distractions and my mind cannot stop thinking.”

— Ashley Yung

April 14  It’s the first day back after a long boring break of doing nothing, I didn’t really miss having homework, but then again I still had something to do. Now that it’s getting close to summer I don’t have the motivation to do any of my work, which is especially not good considering AP testing is coming very soon. Teachers keep saying how much they don’t want this to be a stressful time, but then load us up with material. I wish we could have our one month left back at school, and see everyone.

-Becca Nolan

April 15  – Today was my first good day in a long time. I worked out in the morning and felt the endorphins all throughout the day. I put on makeup and started talking to some potential roommates for next year. It’s weird to make commitments when the future is so tentative but it feels good to think about a better time and a better place. I talked to some new friends and some old friends and we got to reminisce about elementary school and sweet memories. It’s nice that even when everything’s falling apart, there are still plenty of unexpected rays of light. 

-Shreya Dodballapur 

April 14  – I feel tired and sad. Constantly. I don’t understand what’s going on with my life, with my future, with my friends, with my extended family, with the nation and with the world. I’m running out of distractions and my mind cannot stop thinking. I’ve been going on lots of walks, calling lots of friends. The days passed by so slow yet so fast. At the end of the day, I reflect and feel like I’ve done hardly anything, and if I have, the actions of one day so closely mirror the actions of the past day. I’m mind-numbingly robotic, not submitting to any schedule but my wacked-up circadian rhythm. 

-Ashley Yung

April 13  – My family never really celebrates Easter as much as other people do. Usually we just have brunch with our extended family who live in the area, but this year we couldn’t do that. This year a holiday felt like any other day, which was the first time something like that has happened to me. I guess it’s just part of growing up, but it felt too forced. In many ways this virus has forced me to lose certain parts of my childhood too soon. I wish this could be over.

-Dylan Rowe

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