Suddenly social distant

posted May 5, 2020 in

SMOCK, Pa. -- Most people knew that the coronavirus was a dangerous outbreak and that it would affect more people as the days passed.

Many Penn State students didn’t expect to go on spring break and not be able to return to campus after seven days. Most students didn’t pack their textbooks or clothes that weren’t sweatpants and hoodies for the upcoming break because they didn’t see their spring break turn into remote classes.

I was one of those students. I didn’t pack a single textbook or a pair of jeans, that didn’t have holes in them. I wasn’t prepared to stay with my parents for two months, I packed for one week.

I was fortunate enough to be able to stay home, as many students don’t have the ability or resources to be with their family during this time.

Penn State classes were held remotely on March 16 and I was lucky enough to continue to work remotely as well. I was more worried how I was going to pay my rent each month than I was about how I was going to adjust to taking online courses.

I wasn’t worried about adjusting to online courses at my parents’ home because I knew I was going to be able to use the vanity in my room as a make-shift desk and would just need to be clear with my family when I had class so they knew not to disturb me.



Of course there were moments that I needed more privacy than a one-floor house could provide, and when that happened I would take my dog outside for a walk or sit on the porch. Being alone or with my dog Ice, gave me time to breath without thinking about the pandemic, classes, work, or being home.

The most important part about being isolated is finding time to ground yourself and heal from the stress and anxiety the Corona virus has created. Meditation and self-reflection was how I coped with the stress. My parents handled their stress differently from me.

My dad, Jon Ansell, spent more time outside finishing up chores that he had put off for the past few months. He found himself growing bored easily on the weekends and having an excess amount of energy. He decided to put the spare time and energy into chopping wood and building fires.



My mom, Jamie Junk, was worried about the spread of the virus but had to continue shopping for our household so she became easily stressed when she left the house. She was laid off during the month of April, which left her more time on her hands than she knew what to do with it. She spilt her time between gardening, cleaning and cooking.

Although my mom and I were stuck at home, we found it to be a great moment for us to grow closer as family members but also as friends. We spent time talking, drinking morning coffee, walking our dog Ice and starting a new tv show on Netflix.

Our goal is to finish watching our new show before the end of my finals week.