Prepared or paranoid parents?

Washing our hands every 15 minutes, wearing masks, and disinfecting keys, phones, and doorknobs was only the beginning. As I’ve been in quarantine for the past few weeks, I’ve realized the massive impact it has had on my parents. If anyone in my house sneezes or coughs, everyone freaks out and looks at you like you might be infected. I think my parents might be going insane and it’s terrifying.

My father has the news on 24/7, as soon as I wake up I hear about how the coronavirus is affecting the world and each day it seems to be getting worse. According to CNN, the U.S. has the most confirmed cases worldwide. Globally, there have been over 250,000 deaths as of May 5 and that’s what is scaring everyone because each day the numbers keep going up.

My parents will not let anyone in or out of the house, not even external family members because they are afraid of the virus infecting themselves and my 90-year-old grandma. The rule is that if anyone leaves the house for essential things only, they must take their shoes off before entering and have to leave them outside for at least 24 hours to let the virus disappear. Are they overreacting or are they just playing it safe?

My dad has always been prepared for the worst\; when I was little, he would plan out earthquake drills at three in the morning to prepare my siblings and I not to be scared. He always has extra food and supplies in case of any emergency. We have an RV and it’s basically an emergency vehicle packed with supplies that we could live off of for about two months.

I’m very thankful to have such a dedicated human in my life that has prepared me not to panic and take each day one at a time, but it does get exhausting to talk about this issue on a daily basis. Living with my parents is one thing but being in quarantine with them is another. All of a sudden, I have chores that I don’t remember ever having. It’s getting exhausting having to deal with my family 24/7 and these next few weeks will be tough.

I see on social media that many young adults are sharing their opinions on how the government is overreacting and that the media is providing false information. Some simply don’t care about the stay-at-home order that Gov. Gavin Newsom issued and social distancing because they are still going out to public places and hanging with large groups. It’s frustrating to see all that when I’m being influenced by my father and multiple news outlets to be cautious and stay home.

My father spends his time reading and learning new facts or theories about COVID-19 and each day is frightened more by it. He has heart problems and diabetes and is absolutely devastated that this pandemic has gotten this far\; he fears for his life and our lives if he doesn’t make it. People are more concerned when they have someone who is at high risk or if they know someone close to them with the virus. Besides the fact that I’m concerned about my family’s health, I’m also worried about how the transition to online learning will affect me.

As a journalism student, I’m worried about my grades and the way we’ll be receiving information. All schools have transitioned to virtual learning and it’s a bit scary because most in-person classes require activities and assignments with group members. The switch to virtual learning is really stressing out some professors and most students because we’re not getting the full hands-on experiences we signed up for.

On the bright side, it can also be a good thing to have students see what virtual classes are like and in some cases like mine, prepare journalism students to work with people via email, calls, and through socials for future international or just long-distance work.

I’m mostly worried about my 16-year-old brother that has Attention Deficit Disorder and is very behind in school. He has special ED classes in high school where he can have one-on-ones with his teachers to help him fully understand the materials. With classes being online I don’t think he will be taking them as serious and will slack off and end up playing video games this entire quarantine.

I’m a homebody. I’d rather stay in bed on a Friday night instead of going out to party. I didn’t think this stay at home order would be difficult for me but experiencing it for a few weeks has completely changed my mind. The saying “You don’t know what you have until it’s gone” really fits in with this situation.

My family and I clean our house every other day and take turns cooking dinner, it’s honestly getting exhausting and boring. I’ve watched almost every movie and show on Disney+ and Netflix, eat about every five minutes, learned all the TikTok dances, cleaned my entire closet and even made a Club Penguin account. I am extremely bored and cannot wait to be free again.

It’s agonizing not having a clear understanding of what is going on and not knowing all the facts about COVID-19. Being told there are not enough tests and hospitals for people does not put anyone at ease and creates panic in communities all over the country. My dad always says “Ignorance will kill you,” and he keeps my family up to date with the latest news. Although he knows what is going on, no one really knows how long this will last and it gives our family anxiety and discomfort. All that can be done right now is to stay at home, continue social distancing and keep washing your hands for 20 seconds.

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