Coronavirus (COVID-19) is still prevalent. Wear your masks, practice social distancing, stay home.
For the sake of my mental health, I like to reflect on anything and everything in my life. I usually don't put it all out on the internet for the world to read, but I'm hoping this encourages someone to be a little more honest with themselves about the emotions they're feeling or that they've felt. It's OK to take a minute and just feel. I know and I fully recognize my privilege in that I have my health. I know people have it worse. I don't want to whine or complain. I'm just sharing my experience.
It's been over 100 days of quarantine in New York City, due to the coronavirus.
March was a scary time. I left my house five times, just for walks. My mental health was pretty horrible. I was finishing my classes, navigating a new world of "Can you hear me?" and "Your mic is muted" on Zoom. I was in Queens, the epicenter of the epicenter, and I feared for my family's health. Every time I heard an ambulance siren, I would tear up, because I knew in every fiber of my being that someone was suffering from COVID-19.
Then April came. It got slightly better. Not as many ambulances passed by my house, and the weather was warmer. I could sit in my backyard and get some work done. I was lucky to have school as a distraction.
May came around, and it seemed as though people were pulling through — NYC was getting better. We were flattening the curve. I finished my classes and took advantage of the lenient grading that is so uncharacteristic of Fordham. The first two weeks of the month were for finals, and I couldn't wait for everything to be over. My mental health was climbing because I felt useful. I had a purpose — finish my semester strong. I was riding a high as I got my grades back. But, when summer vacation started, things really took a turn.
I had no purpose. I was supposed to go to Spain in June and that got canceled. I wasn't going back to my job because everything was closed. I had no purpose. I had absolutely nothing to do. The last two weeks of May were pretty horrible. I slept until noon and was glued to my phone and computer watching TikTok and YouTube, respectively. I barely went outside and I ate a whole lot of crap.
There were NO good vibes.
I decided to take summer classes for a few reasons. Normally, my commute is over an hour each way and while I'm healthy, I decided to increase my credits and work towards graduation over the summer. But, most importantly, I needed to feel useful; I barely recognized myself for those two weeks when I did nothing. I needed to be productive and work on things that I liked and was passionate about. So, I took two summer classes in the span of a month.
June was a great month. I felt useful, needed, and productive. I got myself back into a routine.
I've learned that having a routine is essential to my mental health.
Even as I'm writing this now, I didn't have a routine today, and I feel off. I woke up late and I didn't eat well. So, implementing a routine is so important to me. I feel better. The total number of coronavirus cases went down in NYC and we're flattening the curve. People were being smart. I saw my friends on socially-distant walks in the park, and I loved it. The love and fulfillment I felt in June totally made up for the lack thereof for the past three months.
It's now July. Usually, I'm coaching tennis to make money over the summer. Well, that the season of life is over for me, at least right now. I don't have a job currently. So, I decided to take a third summer class because it worked so well for me in June. I'm loving it so far. I have routine and order, which is helping me keep my spirits up. I've been working on a few passion projects as well.
I'm part of a student-run fundraising initiative called Hope For Paz, which is raising money for CRISPAZ, an organization in El Salvador that is very close to my heart. I've finally gotten over my fear of being online and posted my first YouTube video. I love "study with me" videos, so I put a quick one together. I don't even want clout or to go viral at all. I like the whole process of filming content and making fun graphics. I want to use my channel as a way to document my life. I plan on going to law school, and I think that journey will be really incredible to watch for myself. I'm also on executive boards for a few clubs at Fordham, and I'm trying to put together some visions and ideas I have for the clubs, especially since the future of college is so uncertain. I'm feeling good.
No one could have imagined what has happened in the last four months. No one. But, I'm showing what quarantine was like for me. It's still not over. Far from it. I haven't gone out, and if I do, I wear a mask, stay socially distant, and sanitize everything. Please stay safe, and I encourage you to reflect on the last few months and your quarantine evolution.