QuaranTEEN Life for an Introvert

Due+to+the+COVID19+Outbreak%2C+everyone+that+used+to+wander+the+neighborhood+is+now+staying+indoors+in+order+to+stay+safe+%28Photo+courtesy+of+Enoch+Orozco%29.

Enoch Orozco

Due to the COVID19 Outbreak, everyone that used to wander the neighborhood is now staying indoors in order to stay safe (Photo courtesy of Enoch Orozco).

I want to preface this article by saying that I know that the COVID19 outbreak is very serious and many people’s lives are being affected in many negative ways. I, personally, have experienced some of that negativity myself, but that is not the point of this article. I am simply trying to find some light in such a dark time and share my experiences for people to enjoy.

Although some of my friends would disagree, I am extremely introverted. The only social interaction I have with strangers is forced. This is a stark comparison to my father, who would spark up a conversation with just about anyone no matter where he goes. So, of course, when I found out we would be forced to stay inside and not interact with people, I was thrilled. No longer having to work has its downsides, of course being not having any money, but I also don’t have to interact with strangers on a daily basis. School has no longer become a series of forced interactions between people I have little in common with but instead the bare essentials of doing and submitting my assignments. My Public Speaking class has just become a Speaking class, which means my grade in that class is expected to improve.

Outside of the school aspect,  I would also say my social life and friendships have improved. In the past, my friends and I would be able to talk maybe one or two hours a day. Given that they either go to a different school or only have one class with me, we wouldn’t interact during school hours. And following school, one or both of us would work every single day. However, due to the complete shutdown, we’re able to talk a minimum of 12 hours a day. Now, this, of course, has its ups and downs, but it is more beneficial for us than not. This is an extreme contrast to the more extroverted individuals, like my father, who have taken this a completely different way.

Growing up in a time before technology, my father is of the impression that speaking to someone online is different than being face to face. As a result of that along with the outbreak and shutdown, he feels a lot more isolated than I do. This is shown most clearly through his actions. To satiate the desire for a normal, outside, life, my father takes a walk every single day. Most of the time he walks with my mother, but sometimes he’ll go as far as to drive out of his way to visit his friend Steve at work so they can walk together. He plays with our dogs a lot and continues to work outside to avoid the “hermit lifestyle” we are expected to be in right now. I can tell he is a lot more high strung than he normally is; this is a complete contrast to me, who honestly feels more comfortable in this situation. 

The whole “hermit lifestyle,” as some would call it, is nothing new to me. Being inside and working online has always been my preference due to my introverted nature. But that is not to say the anxiety that comes with changing around the norm is not present. Being a very structured person, a shift in schedule does take an effect on my mental state. I think I have yet to grasp the severity of the situation, and that this is my life for the given future.

Every night now at dinner my parents and I sit around the table and one question is always asked, “How are you doing?” This is an extreme shift from my parents expecting me to always be okay and only to speak up about something if I feel necessary. I’ve come to realize that no matter if you are introverted or extroverted, this whole pandemic has caused a strain in our lives.