Homebound Because of the Covid-19 Virus

Story/Video posted April 29, 2020 in Covid-19 by Melina Chumley.



The coronavirus pandemic has hit harder than many thought it would.

I live at my home in Lower Merion, Pennsylvania, where I have been quarantined for the last six weeks. I am at home with my mom Frances, my step-dad Ken, and my sister, Angelia. My brother, Alexi, has been staying at his girlfriend's apartment every night, but comes to the house during the day to work. He and his girlfriend, Liz, are the only other people I have spent time with during quarantine.

I am a second semester senior at Penn State and have had to complete classes online since the middle of March.

S2VuIGFuZCBJIHdlYXJpbmcgb3VyIG1hc2tzIHdlIHVzZSB3aGVuIHdlIGxlYXZlIG91ciBob3VzZS4=My step-father Ken Gross and I wearing our masks we use when we leave our house.

My step-dad and I are really close and have been trying to find different ways to stay active and busy during quarantine. Because of this, we go on many walks together because it helps to get fresh air. We usually walk around my neighborhood or to the park for about 45 minutes when it is sunny out.

It has been really strange being in quarantine because we have had to adjust to a new normal. We have had to wear masks every time we leave the house, which has definitely been an adjustment for us. They make it hard to breathe and start to hurt after wearing them for a long time.

We have also been really consistent on washing our hands, or when we are out, using hand sanitizer. We know that it is really important to stay clean and healthy during this time so we have been doing everything we can to make sure this is happening.

We wanted to find different ways to waste time during the day and at night, so my step-dad decided to order a bumper pool table. We really enjoy playing this game because we think it involves more strategy than regular pool. We usually all go out to the garage after dinner to play. Two of us will play against each other and then whoever wins will play the next person. We keep going until all six of us have had a chance to play.

Angelia is a sophomore at the University of Rhode Island, and her semester got cut short just like mine. She has been staying active by running outside most days. She also has a designated room in our house where she does her work. It has been as hard for her to stay focused as it has been for me.

My mom has been the glue of the house. She goes to the grocery store once a week to make sure we always have food on the table. She cooks dinner every night and always keeps the house clean. Like my sister, she stays active by running outside, but she also works out in our home gym depending on the weather. She has found more ways than the rest of us to stay busy at this time. She has been organizing old photos by year and kid. She also is into fitness and nutrition so has been completing online courses on eCornell. I focused my video on my mom because I think she does the best job telling how the quarantine has been so far.


The Chumley/Gross family: Angelia, Ken, Liz, Alexi, Melina, and Frances in front, celebrating Liz's birthday in quarantine.

Alexi and Liz both work full-time jobs, so are busy during the day. Most nights after my brother is done working, he goes back to Liz’s apartment and they make dinner together. But, three nights a week they come over to our house and eat dinner with us. My mom really enjoys this because she loves having a full house and cooking for people.

Overall, quarantine has been difficult for all of us and we have been getting sick of each other often. We hope that this ends by the end of May and that we are able to do things we have not been able to for the past month and a half. Only time will tell when life can start to get back to normal.

Photo gallery

More pictures from our life in isolation.


Ken Gross playing bumper pool.


My sister, Angelia Chumley, sitting at our dining room table on a zoom class.
Walking in my Lower Merion neighborhood on a sunny day.