Staying positive while social distancing

Lauren Reidinger, Columnist

The COVID-19 pandemic has completely changed the course of my life and so many others. I have lost my job, been told to leave university grounds, told I was unable to walk at my graduation and forced into a new chapter of my life I was so desperately not ready for.

Living each day not knowing what will come next: which cities will climb the ladder of infectious cases, how many more days of quarantine we may face and how we will keep our sanity while staying inside.

It’s something I never thought I’d see in my lifetime and will for sure be one to remember. The news is a daily reminder of how horrible this pandemic is and how it’s affecting everyone’s lives at different capacities. The best way we can stop the spread of this disease is by social distancing and staying clean.

Social distancing is something I’ve never had to do before and honestly, it’s harder than I thought.

For me, social distancing is extremely difficult because I am a very sociable person and human interactions are a part of what makes me, me. Not being able to see my classmates, friends, roommates and even the random people walking on campus is upsetting to me and makes me feel out of place.

I never imagined I’d miss the little things that I do: my daily routine of going to classes and making small talk with the student next to me, making jokes with my professors and casually going to lunch somewhere quick with friends.

Social distancing has forced me into a new lifestyle of online video chatting to “see” my friends and finishing my college career online and from home. Aside from the negatives, I’ve picked up my old passion for writing and drawing again and found other things to entertain me and keep my sanity.

I was very involved with advanced art classes in high school and it began to fade as I got to college with less time for it and focused more on my academics. Now with this quarantine, I can work on my art and really spend quality time on it.

Lauren Reidinger
Laurens mother, Jennifer, holds the cork board Lauren made for her birthday

I created a cork board out of wine corks for my mom’s birthday in March and made drawings now hung with pride on the kitchen fridge. It’s the little things like this that make social distancing bearable.

Also, during this quarantine, I have redone my bedroom completely with new decor and paint — a little really can go a long way.

Some days are harder than others and it’s not easy to stay inside when you’re told you have to, but I’m managing and so is everyone else around me.

I spend the majority of my time at my boyfriend’s house, as he is the only one I’m really seeing during this social distancing. We try to find things to do every day aside from online classes.

Although this pandemic and social distancing isn’t what anyone had hoped for, it brought me a lot closer to my family, friends and even myself. I am now able to spend more time on the things I could never get to or was too busy to do.

Lauren Reidinger
Lauren holds her drawing she made during quarantine

The days have begun to blur together and I’m not sure which day of the week it is most of the time, but regardless, I’m healthy and so fortunate to be.

If I were to get sick, I know I’d be okay and be able to get through it, but what worries me is who I’d give it to on accident, like my mom and dad, sister, boyfriend or his family.

With that said, I will continue with social distancing and limiting the amount of times I leave my home, hoping that one day this all ends and we can begin to rebuild our normal lives.