I knew someone a year younger than me who wanted to live in the 1920’s. They fell in love with the glitz and glamour and heteronormative roles of the family that our history books portray. “Honey I’m home. What’s for dinner?” Yet another friend said multiple times that they wish they could’ve been born in the future, when space travel and injecting microbots to fight off infections are a common thing. Or so they imagine.
Right now one of my friends is a high school senior, and I think she feels robbed. For 12 years she’s worked hard to keep up her GPA. If she walked across the stage for the graduation ceremony should would have been one of the top members of her class. But the graduation was canceled, or postponed indefinitely, and many of her Senior year traditions will never happen.
Does she wish she had been born just one year older or one year younger? Maybe any time other than now, when COVID19 is radically reshaping our society and our lives.
Stay at home, keep your distance, stay healthy, support each other – we are in this together. As a global company and a global community, our highest priority is to identify any opportunities to #FlattenTheCurve. Stay safe. pic.twitter.com/uwsW2JbhEu— Audi (@Audi) March 20, 2020
The biggest global crisis I faced in high school happened my Senior year, too. In the fall of 2009 I caught H1N1, a virus affectionately called swine flu. Actually, I was one of the lucky ones who caught a special string that also came with Mono. I missed two and a half weeks of school but I remember only five minutes of my time with it.
My neck swelled to the size of my head and I swear my family tried to drown me in Airborne—which I refuse to drink to this day. There were times I could barely stay conscious, and my boyfriend at the time actually got mad that I was so slow to reply to texts. My mother was on a trip to Spain when I first got sick, but when she got back she immediately took me to the ER.
I thought I would die in the waiting room. When it was finally my turn I watched them hook me up to an IV when normally I insist on covering it or looking away (I’m a whimp.) As you can see, I survived, but over 200,000 people didn’t. Even though my immune system is what they call “compromised” now, I’m grateful to be alive and creating today.
At the same time I’m frustrated, too. I had a few gap years, so unlike most of my peers who went straight to college after high school, I just received my first college degree. May 1st, 2020 was supposed to be the big celebration. At the beginning of March I ordered my graduation cap and gown, but as soon as I paid for the announcements Colorado mandated “shelter in place.” When I mailed the invites a week later, that same day I learned the graduation ceremony was postponed. Still waiting to hear if it will be rescheduled or nixed all together...
I want to be mad at everyone and no one in particular, and it’s tempting to wish I had graduated at any other time. In my eyes, attending the ceremony would give me closure and I’d feel like I accomplished something. It was supposed to be the grand sign that I’d completed this step and was ready to step again.
But what if that’s too small minded? Did I go to college just to graduate? No. I went to gain a new skill and harness my passion for animation. Even if I never get to walk at a graduation ceremony, it will be okay. (If I really need to I can put on my cap and gown which I now own, buy myself a cupcake, and run around the house.) I completed my journey in school and I’m proud of what I learned. Whether I feel ready or not, my future is bigger than a canceled celebration. There’s an entire ocean ahead.
We believe these are unprecedented times—I’ve never experienced anything like this—yet I know this is nothing we can’t get through. After all, we’ve done it for every unprecedented time before.
We don’t have flying cars or cures for everything, but you were born for this time. Even with #StayHome and virus-flooded news, if you’re reading this, you’re supposed to be here, living this life, right now. Because of this experience, we can relate to every person around the globe. If you happen to run into Bill Gates and need an ice breaker now you can say, “Hey, remember that time we were all forced to stay home? I bet your home was a pretty great place to be quarantined.” And then you’ll both laugh and he’ll hand you $1,000.
Maybe this message was encouraging, or maybe you still dream of time travel—I’d love to go back and witness the Jurassic era just to find out if the T-Rex really roars like our sound engineers imagine. But I hope when you think of the challenging weeks and months ahead you’ll say, “This is my time,” and apply prayer as frequently as needed.
I’d like to give you this song that’s helped me relax. Yes, it’s a Christmas song, but I’ve found that the lyrics are pretty relevant to today: “Take heart, oh weary soul, take heart. For help is on its way, and holy is his name.”
Things to try while living with COVID19
- I caught the
virustrend and started to watch Tiger King on Netflix. This is my face for 90% of each episode:
- Jake started to host movie nights on Discord. So far we’ve watched the new Harley Quinn movie, Cats the Musical, and Mac and Me. I fell asleep through Mac and Me so I can’t really count that one...
- Now would be a good time to subscribe to Disney+ if you haven’t already. Lilo and Stitch, Big Hero 6, The Aristocats, and Frozen 2 have been staples of my streaming diet.
- I’m officially addicted to Youtuber The Dooo. I actually cried from laughing when he played Getting Over It.
- Catch me on Overwatch (PC) or Animal Crossing (Switch). Leave a comment below if you want a DoDo code to visit my island.
- Check out some workouts on YouTube. David Kirsch and Tara Stiles are some of my favorites to follow.
- Watch any of these nostalgic flicks.
- Practice cooking. I’ve gotten pretty good making frozen Pizza Rolls and french fries that are almost restaurant quality. #denial
- Conduct your own hard-boiled egg experiments. Please share your results.
- Write a short story or novella. You could adventure to far off places while staying home.
- Read a book you’ve been meaning to read but haven’t yet.
- Bring nature to you with sounds from the national parks.
- Send out a “thinking of you” card. But don’t lick the envelope cuz, you know, sanitary reasons and also it probably tastes gross.
- Train your cat.
- Make space for a life admin day.
- Remember your favorite charity or local business and make a donation. Anything helps. (If you don’t have your heart set on one already I’d like to toss in the charity I work for.)
- Start a quarantine book club. (Here’s what I’m currently reading.)
- Paint/draw/color something. Anything. Pick out some colors and make swirls on a flat surface. Ta-dah! You made art.