I felt the first effects of the coronavirus outbreak on March 5, during my seventh block, when the school loudspeakers announced that everyone needed to leave the campus because someone’s family member had contracted COVID-19. Come Monday, I expected things to return to normal. After all, they just needed to test the student and I wasn’t expecting it to come back positive. It seemed more like a precautionary measure, and based on how few cases were reported in the United States at the time, I wasn’t expecting it to have spread around my high school. That Sunday night, the school reported that they had yet to receive the test results and therefore, school would remain closed until further notice. Soon it became obvious that even if school reopened, it wouldn’t be for long.
During the wait, teachers were sending out emails about what we might do if school were to close and how we would continue to learn. One of the emails was from my art teacher with a prompt to think about. We were asked to draw out the coronavirus, but with our own personal take on it. I ended up drawing two different ideas. One was meant to be a gouache piece since, during our time off, I had watched an hour long video of an illustrator painting using gouache instead of drawing digitally and I thought that was really cool. Unfortunately the thumbnail I drew in my sketchbook ended up being really complicated and one that I figured I’d need a bit more time and experience with to paint.
The second idea I drew out was a bit more practical, and probably more along the lines of what my teacher was thinking of, because it is, in fact, a 3D art class. When I thought of the virus I thought of masks and shortages, especially on things like toilet paper and hand sanitizer. I also thought of my situation of being stuck at home, in the dark, not really knowing what was to come. My idea was to make a small figure out of clay and stick it in either a hand sanitizer bottle that was empty, or to use a bottle that looked similar but was slightly bigger. Then, I would make a pile of tiny replicas of things that people were stocking up on.
When we returned to school the following Wednesday, my teacher didn’t really follow up on the prompt she had given us during the break, and instead gave us materials to bring home for a take-home project. However, I still liked the concept of my 3D coronavirus project, and rather than let the idea go to waste, I decided to turn it from 3D into 2D for this post.
I used acrylics to paint it in, and now I’m running out of white acrylic paints since I painted the entire background white. There’s something peaceful about being in quarantine and having nothing to do except paint with your favorite medium. I hope everyone finds something that can get them through an unexpected time like this.
At this point, it’s been about a month since I’ve isolated myself from society and I still feel like I need some time to get used to everything. I’m someone who has difficulty working on things from home. Normally, if I really need to get something done for school, I’ll spend time in the school library or do it on my phone during passing periods. That really isn’t an option anymore. I think the hardest part of self-isolation has been realizing that we won’t be going back to school for the rest of the year and that all the school events have been cancelled. It’s especially difficult as a senior, since many of the experiences I wanted to have this year are gone: spring rally, prom, and graduation. I won’t even be able to say goodbye to many of the friends I’ve made along the way.
Like many, I hope that our quarantine ends sooner rather than later so that I can, at least, have a few final memories with my friends. But, I also want everyone to stay safe and healthy. This time that we have off can be whatever you make of it. If you want to spend time catching up on work or developing a new skill, then do that! You can also not do that and just focus on your mental state. Keep in touch with friends, they might need it just as much as you do.
As for me, I’m hoping my motivation to complete my school work comes back when online classes start up next week. My birthday is coming up soon, and I’m hoping to have a big online party and catch up with all my friends. This entire post was basically an update on how I’ve been doing since self-isolation began, but my posts from here on out are most likely going to be non-quarantine related, unless something really big happens, of course.