For the past two months, I have been social distancing in my rural hometown in South Georgia. Many of my friends from bigger cities have been asking me how I am doing and how it is going being home for an extended amount of time. I can sum up their questions with one word: BORING.
OK, so it really isn't all that bad. However, I miss the fast-pace and exciting lifestyle I have when I am at school. One of the main reasons why I chose to attend college at the University of Georgia, other than it being my DREAM school, was that it was 3 hours away from home. Many people mistake that being a reason for me wanting to move away from my family. That is so far from the truth. I absolutely love my family, but I dislike my middle of nowhere hometown. It was a nice place to grow up and all, but I had to get away.
There isn't much to do in my hometown. The nearest mall is 50 miles away. There are no cool places to hangout at. However, we do have just about every fast-food restaurant you can name. Also, if you are ever in a mood where you feel like talking to someone (if that is even a mood?), you can always go to Walmart, because I guarantee you will not leave without seeing and speaking to someone you know. Like I said, this town really isn't that bad of a place. However, after living in Athens (which feels like a huge city to me), this town is the last place I want to be.
So, what is it like social distancing in a rural town?
You would think social distancing in a small town is no different than being in a big town. That sounds right to many, but not to me. There is something about being here that feels different than if I were distancing myself elsewhere. On a typical day in town there isn't a lot of excitement, and there certainly isn't much happening during a pandemic. Everything around here is dull. The mood is lower than usual. I hardly see any of my neighbors when I am out running in my neighborhood. Nobody is out and about (which is good considering social distancing guidelines). Maybe I am just being dramatic, but there is something different about being home right now. I cannot explain why I feel this way. My routine right now is the same thing every single day, and I need a change up. An example of a typical day for me right now is:
9:30 a.m - Wake up
10:30 a.m - Get out of bed and make coffee
11:00 a.m - Write in journal
12:00 p.m - Change out of PJ's and go workout
1:00 p.m - Lunch
2:00 p.m - Go for a run and spend time outdoors
5:00 p.m - Shower and put on PJ's
6:00 p.m - Netflix
7:00 p.m - Dinner
8:00 p.m - Get in bed and watch Netflix
2:00 a.m - Go to sleep
This has been a typical day for me for the past two months. There is too much Netflix and PJ time happening in my life right now. Now that I am finished with my spring semester work and with my summer plans being unpredictable, I know it is only going downhill from here. Is it the most healthy lifestyle I am living? Absolutely not. Aren't we all a little off the rails right now anyways? Absolutely.
There is one thing I have liked about social distancing here. Being home for so long has definitely brought some joy within my family. I have enjoyed this unexpected time with my family. I do not come home often, so for me to be able to spend more time with my parents has been a blessing. We haven't had this much time together for so long and we are all so happy to be together during these times of uncertainty.
To sum all of this up, social distancing in my hometown is not the worst thing in the world. Is it super boring? It is absolutely boring. Could things be worse for me right now? Absolutely. I have to keep reminding my self that while I am bored out of my mind things could be far worse. The memories I am making with my family right now are some I will cherish forever. However, when places start opening up and I can go out and have fun with my friends again, you better believe I will be hauling myself back to Athens in a heartbeat.
Thank you, to all who are fighting on the front lines. To all hospital workers, police officers, grocery store workers, postal workers, and everyone else working through this crisis, I send my deepest gratitude to you all. We will get through this together. Stay safe and stay smart. This will pass.