Covid-19 took us all by surprise and something we never thought was possible became our new normal. An official strict lockdown period for NYC residents started back in March 2020 and continued on until the summer.
Whether it was keeping up with the latest TikTok trends, completing killer Chloe Ting workout challenges, or starting a business, everyone had their own little way of taking advantage of this lockdown and doing things they never had the time for.
“Throughout quarantine, I started experimenting in the kitchen: creating new dishes, cooking meals I’ve always wanted to but never really had the time for, etc.,” Nichole Cardona, a senior at Thomas Edison High School said. Nichole expressed that quarantine helped strengthen an important hobby that she usually never had the time to focus on. We see this common theme across many people, who by the end of the summer had major “glow-ups” or became certified bakers.
However, productivity was difficult for some during a time like this. Criticism was being thrown at those who decided not to work on themselves, with others saying to them that they simply “lacked discipline” given they now have the time to do whatever they can for themselves but chose not to.
When asked about her motivation levels in lockdown , Melissa Vargas, a guidance counselor at Thomas Edison High School said, “Our motivation was centered around surviving this thing and not much else.” It is difficult to keep your head clear and stay on track with things when it feels as if the entire world is falling apart. In between deaths and an unsure future, simply getting out of bed and staying healthy was an achievement of its own for many.
Instead of a physical change, a mental change was more of a priority for some. Two of our interviewees, Nichole Cardona and Melissa Vargas, both expressed that they found themselves wanting to learn more about problems in our society today and educating themselves on social justice issues. Mental health wellness was also a popular thing to work on, as Lauren Singh, first year student at Fashion Institute of Technology stated, “I was able to focus more on my mental health and it really helped me better myself overall. If I wasn’t able to do that, I think I would’ve put myself in a hard situation to get out of.”
Quarantine was a new experience for all of us and one we had to get used to quickly. Congrats if you started your own clothing line or finally got the body of your dreams! But also congrats if you survived the pandemic and simply got up everyday and made your bed! As we approach almost a year of covid life, another strict lockdown may be in our future. If that’s the case, take Melissa Vargas’ wise words on surviving another strict lockdown: “I would sing, I would dance, I would frolic, I would prance, I would make macaroons and pretend I’m in France!”