In light of the tragedy of recent global events, we wanted to spend time focusing on what makes us happy. During social distancing, it’s easy to feel isolated and afraid, but by finding the positives of the pandemic we can come together and survive this unprecedented time. Below are some of the things that have brought us joy during quarantine and the coronavirus.
Daniel Cohn, Associate Managing Editor
I thought about writing about how there isn’t much positivity in the short term and that long-term positivity is found in uprooting the flawed system that is showing itself right now, but that’s not very positive. I’ll write about my dog.
We got her shortly after I turned seven in 2004. Her mom was a stray found in a forest near Levittown, a suburb of Philadelphia across the river from New Jersey. They gave her all requisite shots to get her healthy, and all was well. Two weeks later, she had ten puppies. We got number six.
In the near 16 years since, she’s been there for me through the good and bad. Going to college out of state was something I always planned on, yet feared as it meant distance between us. Being home for the last two months of my UConn years has brought a lot of sadness and despair for me, but I’m more than happy to wallow with Kaely.
Melissa Scrivani, Associate Life Editor
I am beyond fortunate to be quarantined in a safe and healthy home with my family. Being at home with all of this free time has given me the opportunity to reconnect with some of my hobbies that I’d been neglecting. I’ve been reading every day, I’ve begun meditating and doing yoga (namaste) and I’ve been cooking and baking more than ever, even trying out new recipes. I’ve also tried to make more of an effort to do things that make me happy. I’ve been getting outside to enjoy nature as often as possible and I’ve begun writing in a gratitude journal. These are all small things, but they’re things that I often felt I didn’t have time for before quarantine. Now I have more time than ever, and for the first time since high school I find myself even wanting to try new hobbies.
Life has certainly slowed down, and if any good has come from it, it would be that I’ve realized I used to spend too much time doing things I felt like I “had” to be doing instead of things I genuinely enjoyed. Obviously between work, school and other obligations some of it was out of my control, but when things begin to go back to normal I am consciously going to make an effort to allow some time each day to practice one or more of my hobbies.
Julia Mancini, Life Editor
I am also grateful that my family is safe, healthy and employed during this quarantine. I know so many people have been struggling with a variety of obstacles these past few months, and my heart goes out to everyone impacted by COVID-19. If you are privileged enough to have some down time, I think it’s really important that we all focus on positivity right now. Whether you do that by volunteering and spreading love for essential workers or by taking time to reconnect with yourself, I think social distancing has offered everyone a unique opportunity to find joy in the chaos.
When school transitioned online, I found myself with a lot less responsibility. As someone who is always very work-focused, at first I was at a bit of a loss. But I quickly remembered the pastimes I had long since abandoned for school, work and other obligations. I have been writing every day, attacking the pile of books I always told myself I’d get to and spending time with my family. My mom and I take daily walks when the weather allows and I’ve been exploring my spice cabinet to make adventurous recipes with her. There are little things that I find joy in as well, and that coincidentally help mark the passage of time. Jigsaw puzzles and planting seedlings for the garden have both provided some contemplative relaxation. I’ve also been able to stay positive through thought-provoking conversations with my friends. We try to stay connected virtually and, without the stress of classes and hectic schedules, have been able to engage in some deeper conversations than we normally would.
This stay-at-home order has actually been healing for my mental health, and rather cathartic. Like Melissa, I hope I can maintain some of this relaxation and positivity even after quarantine ends.
Daniel Cohn is the associate managing editor for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at email@example.com.
Melissa Scrivani is the associate life editor for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Julia Mancini is the life editor for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at Julia.email@example.com.