Perspective: The Unexpected Gift of Time in Quarantine



This quarantine sucks. As a high school senior, I feel sad that I can’t spend time with my friends before we all go off to our separate parts of the world. I feel robbed of a graduation, prom, and possibly even my first semester of college. And I feel mad at the people who refuse to stay at home and are selfishly making things worse for the rest of us. But after spending weeks in quarantine, mulling in my negativity, I’ve found the glimmer of hope resting at the bottom of this COVID-19 Pandora’s box. I’ve found that this quarantine has allowed all of us to do things that we’ve always wished to do, which is especially important for us seniors who are about to leave for college.

First off, I’ve been sleeping a lot. My skin is clearer than it’s ever been because I have the time to be consistent with my routine every day.  I eat good meals 3 times a day, and am taking my dogs out on more walks. Also, despite their stress regarding our family business, my parents said that they are enjoying this quarantine because of all the quality time we get to spend together as a family. My mom shared, “In our day to day lives, the only time I get to see you guys [my brother, sister, and I] is at dinner. And even then, you’re rushing off to get your homework done. I love being able to spend time with all of you during this quarantine, especially since you’ll be going off to college soon.” Surprisingly, my family hasn’t fought since quarantine started. We have family night every night where we either play a game or watch a movie, something that would only happen once or twice a month before this pandemic. 

I also have been spending a lot of time doing things that I want to do. I now have the time to work out regularly, Marie Kondo my closet, and sit down outside and read with a cup of tea. I’ve been practicing old hobbies that I never had the time for like cooking and baking, sewing, and planning outfits for when we get out of quarantine. I’ve also been picking up some new hobbies such as gardening, jewelry making, and even trying to teach myself how to code. 

After thinking about all of this, I finally realized that I’ve been living my dream retirement life. The life that I tell myself that I’m going to get to eventually if and only if I work hard while I’m younger. The only difference is that the frightening stats and news on the TV that I see every day and night make me feel like I’m living in hell rather than heaven. Now obviously I can’t enjoy this “retirement” in its entirety because of the current situation, and also because I don’t have the satisfaction of knowing that I worked for it. But we don’t always have to live with this negative mindset hanging over our heads. 

I’m not denying the fact that there’s a pandemic, or saying that it’s a good thing that the COVID-19 pandemic is happening. I’m extremely grateful and scared for all the doctors, nurses and essential workers risking their lives, and fear for everyone, especially if they’re in the high risk category. But I think that we should take advantage of the situation that we are in, and stay positive rather than moping around all day. Because let’s be honest. What good is that going to do for anyone? 

Punahou senior Leah Miyaki ‘20 shared that she’s accepted quarantine: “I don’t like being quarantined, but I’m willing to stay quarantined for the betterment of our community.”  She’s been enjoying all the free time she now has, working out and sleeping are her two favorite activities. Miyaki shared, “I never feel drained during the day like how I used to with a normal school schedule.” 

Because us seniors will all be off to college soon, it’s important that we spend our time wisely. We can all use this as a time to get closer with our families, and to improve our physical and mental being. Go for a run, read a book, play a board game with your family. This quarantine is granting us a peaceful sanctuary that we can all use to repair, restart, and refresh before we head into the next chapter of our lives.