Kleenex is stashed in preparation for social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Brianna Pham)
Arnold O. Beckman High School

Opinion: How one pathogen changed my life

It’s exactly one week, or 10,080 minutes since I went outside for more than mere moments. My only company is the irrationally large pile of Kleenex boxes that my parents towed from Costco. I don’t think I’ve ever needed that many tissues and I’ve had my fair share of colds.

Before COVID-19, I never stayed home for more than two days. Alas, the exponential spread of disease is connected to the accumulation of human fear — I gradually grew into reclusion alongside the rest of my school.

My dad comes home now, as the hefty drive office no longer deters his presence. I work, tutor and sell items online from home, but I can’t say that income hasn’t been more difficult to come by these days. The fact that I have to pay my taxes in a few weeks doesn’t help morale.

Moreover, generational gaps in belief can be irreconcilable when a diverse age group is stuck in the same house. There’s no way to tell if you should actually ration food World War II style or say “OK boomer” to your Asian mother, as neither are necessarily wise ideas.

Within the hour, I can feel indignant, hopeless, calm, happy and debilitatingly bored.

Despite the half-comedic, half-unbearable situation, I’ve learned something: self-pity accomplishes nothing. While I ruminate over lessened work, there are millions of Americans who can’t get unemployment benefits.

My parents having different outlooks from me is better than a ruined economic state. My access to education is lessened and my workaholism is suppressed, but I’ll say it plainly — I think we all need to be more grateful. Appreciating the little things can genuinely help us cope with the quarantine.

Unfortunately, we are not dealt equal hands in life. However, we are all capable of loving something, whether it be family, a significant other, the rain outside, or hobbies.

Trying my best to recognize the goodness around me has helped me through my first ten thousand minutes, and it hopefully will for the next indefinite eternity.