Looking on the Bright Side During the Down Time

Cross-stitching

"I’ve always loved superheroes and Deadpool is one of my favorites. The Baby Yoda was just because I had recently watched The Mandalorian and I had to make something about the show since I was obsessed with it," said senior Jaela Washington. Washington has taken to cross-stitching during her “spring quarantine” as many are calling it. Washington is one of many to be using her time in self-isolation to be productive and try new things.

Nick Bowman, Multimedia Guru

The COVID-19 epidemic took America by storm when it hit on Jan. 20, 2020 and shocked Missourians on March 8, 2020 when the first case arose in St. Louis. While the virus has clearly impacted Parkway North with all April events and activities being canceled and new stay at home orders being implemented for St. Louis County on March 23, 2020; this whole mess has come with some positives as well.

Radio stations like 102.5 KEZK-FM have begun playing Christmas music on Fridays starting at 5:00 p.m. to get people through these tough times and the Hallmark Channel has begun airing their Christmas movie marathon at the same time. Given how the holidays are generally seen in a cheery, jolly light, the stations playing christmas music are doing so in hopes that it will cheer people up during these confusing times.

I think, for some people, [playing Christmas music] might remind them of happier times and give them something positive to focus on,” said social studies teacher Amy Grich.

Many corporations and grocery stores have begun offering additional compensation and incentives to continue coming into work amidst the pandemic. Since they still need workers, grocery stores commonly offer incentives to continue working. Dierbergs has offered their workers an additional $2 per hour worked from March 13 to May 7. 

“I definitely think that anyone that’s still out working needs to be paid more considering that they’ve been deemed ‘essential’ enough to stay open during this crisis and are putting themselves at risk every day,” said senior Jaela Washington.

While some are being paid more to stay in work, others are stuck at home with nothing to do. This prompts creativity and trying new activities during their self-isolation. For many, quarantine has offered time that people can’t find in their ordinary life.

We built an obstacle course in the basement for my daughters to run through on a cold, rainy day,” said Grich.

“I’ve been cross-stitching a lot more simply because I finally remember how much I enjoy it,” said Washington.

Globally, things aren’t all bad either. In Venice, Italy the canals are clearer than ever in recent memory, and the swans native to the area have begun to migrate back thanks to little human interaction. The skies over China are also clearer since pollution has slowed. This has led many to believe that the environment will improve accordingly in America as well. 

“I think our environment is already improving and I think it’s going to improve more during the month of April,” said Washington.

Furthermore, acts of random kindness, social solidarity and a sense of neighbor community are growing as people are forced to focus on their surroundings instead of on school, world and the humdrum of daily life.

Neighbors are singing together from a distance and raising their voices in unison to cheer for essential workers, capable individuals are delivering food and necessary items to those who can’t leave their homes, neighborhoods are creating window scavenger hunts for younger children to have something to do and companies are donating money and products to those in need.

“The one thing I have done to help others is to buy essential items for my parents and deliver or conduct a porch pick up,” said Grich.

Through all of the bad that’s going on, it’s important to recognize the good. Fifty years from now when people ask about COVID-19 of 2020, people will remember the hard times but will also remember spending time with family and connecting with people they may not have time to connect with otherwise.

“I’ve been video calling my friends a lot more since we can’t see one another. Also my niece and nephews since I haven’t been able to see them at all.” said Washington.

During these trying times it is important to remember that this isn’t the end of the world. One day life will return to normalcy. Someday soon school will resume, restaurants will reopen and we’ll be able to see our friends, family and loved ones. Being away from these things temporarily reminds us how good we have it. Stay strong Parkway North, we will get through this together.