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Quarantine: A New Way of Life?

Abby Regan '22, Lead Op-Ed Editor
When I thought about the spring of sophomore year, I imagined walks with friends during G blocks, working on the spring play, running track, and enjoying my favorite time of year at Hopkins; I never imagined our last day of the 2019-2020 school year would be on March 6. 
I never imagined we would be stuck in our homes for months as a global pandemic uprooted our lives and damaged so much of the world we know. And now what? We adjust to Zoom classes because we have to. We accept that the only way to socialize is virtually, because we have to. Each day we look at the news and feel the weight of this crisis, because we have to. Each day I miss Hopkins more and more.

In the weeks before spring break, the Hopkins campus was abuzz with rumors and arguments about COVID-19. Every day I discussed the crisis with my friends and classmates. Everyone was anxious and uncertain about the possibility of school shutting down. My Spanish teacher, Señora Sue Bennitt, however, told my class to think of this as a new opportunity. She argued that taking classes online is just a different experience and it can be exciting if you want it to be. At the time I rolled my eyes, not wanting to believe school would actually close. But now that we are going to be isolated until June, if not later, I need to hold on to that positivity — quarantine can get depressing really quickly without it. It’s much easier to focus on the loneliness and uncertainty of the whole situation, and following the ever growing numbers of cases and deaths only worsens that feeling. 

Meanwhile, with the new online class schedule and the loss of extracurriculars, Hopkins students are finding themselves with more free time. Yet, it feels like the homework load is already sucking up that time. We’re bored, yet busy. I don’t have the motivation to start my homework, so instead I sit and scroll aimlessly through news and social media. If I could motivate myself, there could be time to try a new hobby, catch up on sleep, binge watch a new show, declutter my room, exercise, or do something creative. But it’s hard to be motivated when the days feel so monotonous. I have to keep myself busy and not stop to think about my lack of motivation or what we’re all missing this spring. Sometimes that means homework, sometimes that means baking or doing art or exercising, and sometimes that means watching shows or taking naps. 

We’re all bored of Zoom and FaceTime at this point too, and we’re aching to see our friends in person. As humans, we naturally need that connection and the more we live without it, the harder it gets. Many psychiatrists and neuroscientists worry about the mental health effects of social distancing. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation’s poll, almost half of people in the United States said that the virus is affecting their mental health right now. But we are also lucky enough to live in an age where communication during quarantine is fast, easy, and accessible. While technology isn’t a perfect substitute for a hug or face to face conversation, we are still managing to compensate for the loss of in person contact. My family had a virtual happy hour with old friends and also drove by my little cousins’ house with posters and cupcakes to sing happy birthday from a distance. While it can’t replace the joy of really being together, it helps to feel connected to others in whatever way possible. At some point this will end and we will have adapted and changed, but for now, all we can do is focus on what we can control and what we can do to make ourselves feel okay.

So yes, there’s a strong sense of loneliness, helplessness, and panic. But there is still a chance to focus on positivity. The sun is coming up each day and the temperatures are rising which brings natural brightness, something we all need right now. Although the weather makes me nostalgic for my old springtime memories and sad about what I could be doing, all I can do is focus on what I am able to do this spring, strange as it may be. Maybe my Spanish teacher is right; this can be an opportunity for something new.
 
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Editor in Chief 
Julia Kosinski

Managing Editor 
Teddy Glover 

News
Anushree Vashist
Anjali Subramanian
Aanya Panyadahundi
Melody Cui
Features
Sophie Sonnenfeld
Emmett Dowd
Vivian Wang
Evangeline Doolittle
 
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Zach Williamson
Craigin Maloney
Matthew Breier
Anand Choudhary


Op/Ed
Abby Regan
Riley Foushee
Sophia Neilson

Sports
Maeve Stauff
Kallie Schmeisser
Tanner Lee
Sophia Zhao
Editors-at-Large
Juan Lopez

Cartoonists 
Emmett Dowd
Jon Schoelkopf




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Nick Hughes

Business Manager
Sophia Cerroni
 
Luca Vujovic

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Jenny Nicolelli
Elizabeth Gleason
Rebecca Marcus
The Razor's Edge reflects the opinion of 4/5 of the editorial board and will not be signed. The Razor welcomes letters to the editor but reserves the right to decide which letters to publish, and to edit letters for space reasons. Unsigned letters will not be published, but names may be withheld on request. Letters are subject to the same libel laws as articles. The views expressed in letters are not necessarily those of the editorial board.
     
The Razor,
 an open forum publication, is published monthly during the school year by students of: 
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