For 8th Grade Social Studies, Sam was asked to write five journal entries about life right now. The Social Studies teacher pointed out that someday, these journals will be considered primary sources for students studying the Covid-19 Pandemic in the future.
This is also why I nominally started my Coronavirus diary, even though it’s hard to wrap my mind around a post-Covid-19 world. I skimmed over an article where someone designed an anti-microbial suit with a mask and face shield. It looked very space age and futuristic, but maybe a change of fashion could save lives? Who knows. I had a fleeting thought of “This is how it begins. This is how the world will change.”
Anyway, I sat down with Sam and interviewed him about his thoughts and Coronavirus experiences for this assignment, but they were so interesting, I asked him if he’d be okay if I published his thoughts on here.
So here are his thoughts…
Talking about going to the outdoor Schenectady Greenmarket:
There were less people than usual and they had to wear masks. If you weren’t wearing a mask you couldn’t enter. People who weren’t wearing masks could not come to the market. They were mad and arguing with a police officer. He kept them outside of the market perimeter and told them to go home. There were police and security everywhere preventing people without masks from entering. It makes me feel uneasy to see everyone in masks because the stereotype person wearing a mask is a “bad guy”. Some people were wearing cloth masks (we were), medical masks, bandannas and cloths. The stalls were all ten feet apart and tape on the ground made a bracket where their stall needed to be inside. You could only go up one person at a time and if you were waiting you had to stand six feet away. We waited for Jeremy on the sidewalk or in the gaps where the stores couldn’t be, so we weren’t near people walking in the middle of the main walking area. More than half of the sellers weren’t there and even some of the shops advertised to be there didn’t come. It wasn’t fun anymore. It was gloomy and everyone was depressed. It was strange to be there. I’m not used to seeing people wearing masks and avoiding each other. You couldn’t say hello to anyone’s dog. People didn’t interact with each other. Everything felt strange. It felt like the whole world changed–because it kind of did.
About online learning:
Online learning is on a computer. It’s harder because the teacher really can’t guide you through the lesson. I was afraid that I would have to show my face and I don’t like that. Luckily, I don’t have to show it. I feel like I’m better at listening and following directions now than in the regular classroom because it’s not as distracting, interruptions, and the teacher can get to the point and then I can work at my own pace. That’s so much easier for me. I do like that there’s less work, so it’s less stressful. I would like to home school in the future after the pandemic. If you don’t understand something the teacher can’t really help you and google isn’t reliable. I miss getting to interact with my friends at school and having something to do. Days are so long. Playing video games feels boring. You can’t go outside and really play with people. It’s fun talking to my online friends and it gives me something to do, but Coronavirus has made everything boring. I made a friend right before the lock down and we’ve become good friends and normally I could walk to his house to hang out, but now I can’t.
About going to Elms Farm on Sunday:
On Sunday we got out of the house and went to Elms Farm to get apple cider donuts. It was weird. In the past, they wouldn’t even be open because they are open in the fall. We got there and picked up our apple cider donuts. They were standing under a tent with a table full of bags. They had gloves on, a mask on, hand sanitizer. We were all wearing masks which are HARD to breathe in! I hate it. They are so annoying and I feel like I’m going to have an asthma attack every time I breathe in. We pulled up, they checked our name off a list, and they handed us our bag of donuts. The whole system was designed so we didn’t really interact with each other. Then we drove around the farm on a behind the scenes tour of stuff that would be open in the fall or winter. We saw a lot of growing Christmas trees and the pumpkin patch fields. It was nice to get out and get some fresh air. Usually we’d do much more exciting things for entertainment, but since we haven’t done anything in forever, we enjoyed it, even though we normally wouldn’t find any enjoyment in it.
On ordering groceries and shopping online:
It’s weird ordering groceries now because now you actually have to plan ahead what you get because you’re we’re not going to the shops anymore. We are ordering everything online and then the shops are bringing things out to us. Sometimes we order things and the shops are out. People are fighting over toilet paper and buying it all up and now it’s hard to find in stores sometimes. It’s also hard to find hand sanitizer and hand soap and Clorox wipes. We order groceries when we can get a time slot and sometimes we can’t order for a whole week. When we do get a time slot we have to decide what we want from the store about a week in advance. That is weird. I haven’t had much of an appetite lately. I don’t know why. My favorite quarantine foods/drinks are gatorade, nutella and bread, and pancakes.
My mom bought a bunch of emergency food years ago that lasts 30 years and when we can’t go to the grocery store we can eat from that. She made us pancakes and pasta alfredo and it was awesome. I was expecting it to taste stale, but it was like a normal pancake.
Mom has bought me shorts and sandals online. She also ordered us Easter candy online.
On Easter we got takeout at Turf Tavern. It was pretty good, but it was all boxed up and we had to wash out hands before we could eat because we touched the boxes. I had medium rare Prime Rib with au jus. It’s weird to eat fancy food outside of a restaurant. Easter was weird because we were at home and we didn’t go somewhere fun. We were going to go to see family in Potsdam for Easter, but we couldn’t go because we might get them sick. We were supposed to go to Myrtle Beach for spring break and couldn’t go anywhere. Instead, we spent spring break doing what we usually did any normal day. We had no spring break. We did online learning and not much else.
On his general thoughts about the pandemic:
I hate the coronavirus. It’s made my life so different. It has made my transition to high school so weird. Now it’s just like– GO! I won’t be taking any of the major tests we’ve been prepping for this year. They’re just gone. We don’t even know if we’ll have school next year. It could last all the way past freshman year. We don’t know yet, but studies have shown it’s possible. I don’t think we’ll be going back to school this year. People say every day that cases are slowly declining, but people are still getting infected. It’s so boring not to see my friends. I miss going to their houses and hanging out. I was looking forward to taking the Regents. We were supposed to take some trips to a science museum out of town and a trip to Great Escape. We won’t be going now and I don’t know if they’ll refund our money but people could use it right now. We don’t know if we’re going to be able to go on our Disney trip in August. I want to go but I don’t know if it will be safe in August. If the virus is still lingering then it won’t be safe to go. We’ll probably have to reschedule. I’ve already been waiting half a year for this so I can be patient. I’ve adapted to this. I’m used to the whole home school thing. I’ve accepted things the way they are. I kind of enjoy this and the freedom I have to do things on my own. I like the 2 hour delay schedule. I like getting an assignment and a due date and working at my own pace, so I actually wouldn’t want to go back to the way things were. But people are dying and I’m not happy about it.