Quaran-Things to Do

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Sarah Neal

While bored out of my mind, I decided to paint a rendition of The Great Wave off Kanagawa on my bathroom wall (Photo Courtesy of Sarah Neal).

On March 15th, 2020, South Carolinian Governor McMaster ordered the closure of all schools, including colleges, until the end of April. Shortly after schools closed, small businesses followed. On April 1, 2020, Governor McMaster ordered all non-essential businesses to close to prevent the spread of the corona-virus, leaving many people unemployed.

While these workers will receive unemployment from the government, losing your job is a horrible experience, especially if you have a family to take care of. That feeling of importance fades, and depression has taken its place. Within these past few months, suicide rates have increased, and Jonathan Singer, president of the board of directors of the American Association of Suicidology, believes that job losses and isolation have caused the current spike in suicides. Of course, if you are anyone you know is having thoughts of self-harm or suicide, reach out to someone close or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

“For the most part, quarantine has negatively affected my mental health. I haven’t been able to get an appointment with my psychiatrist through all of this and I’m having to spend a lot of time alone. Schoolwork, although I think it should be less stressful now, is actually more so. Teachers are piling more work on than they would if we were in school. Major assignments are being assigned on days that we wouldn’t usually have that class and are being due on weekends,” said junior Megan Smith.

On April 6, 2020, McMaster prohibited leaving the house for any purpose other than visiting family, running essential errands, going to work, or exercising. Most families started self quarantining, meaning they don’t leave the house. As teenagers, being trapped in our houses for over a month is making us crazy. Most of us would take this opportunity to spend every second with friends, but no one is allowed to leave their house. The closest I’ve been to my friends recently is sitting 6 feet apart in my front yard.

“I’ve spent a lot of time with my boyfriend, Nate because we do school work together. We will go to each other’s houses a few times a week. I’ve also tried to FaceTime my friends during this time,” said sophomore Jamiee Smith.

Personally, my main coping mechanism is surrounding myself with friends. If I’m constantly around people then I don’t stay inside my head. Now that I can’t see my friends, my mental health is slipping. However, many people are trying new things to help them cope with staying at home, like baking, painting, writing, making music, or exercising.

“I have been filming quite a bit with my camera set just to pass time and I have learned a lot and will use it in the future. I’ve also cleaned my closet, gone on many social distance walks, and have gone in my hot tub a lot,” junior Jordan Fanuele told the Bengal Beat.

While we search for things to do, there’s always the one thing that’s kept us all going. Online streaming services, like Netflix, Hulu, and Disney+. Jordan Fanuele recommends watching Atypical because it was a really good show and there is another season coming out in November. Jamiee Smith suggests Community on Hulu and says it’s very funny. Megan Smith has been watching Gotham lately and suggests watching Orange Is the New Black, American Horror Story, Black Mirror, The Haunting of Hill House, Everybody’s Everything, and Scooby-Doo (if you’re looking for a good mystery).

During this time, we need to make sure to take care of ourselves. Everyone needs to make sure they are able to stay in a positive mental state. We also need to be there for others. Now, more than ever, we need support from our friends and family. Stay happy and healthy, everyone!