I clearly remember the last day of normal we had before lockdown. I was on the school tennis team, and we had just gotten back from a match, when we got a message from the school administration, announcing that we would have virtual school.
It was supposed to be temporary, and everything was supposed to open up again at the end of April. At the time, it seemed like Covid 19 was just a virus that was affecting other people in other parts of the world far away from us, and the lockdown was merely a fun break from school, like a snow day. It got even better when the school district announced that none of the grades from lockdown would count. It seemed we got a relaxing vacation from the stress of our school.
Eventually, though, the end of April came by and the school stayed closed. The once humorous news stories of people fighting over toilet paper in grocery stores felt stale as the death rates skyrocketed and the world grew grimmer. Since the school work no longer mattered, and all activities were shut down, I lost my motivation to do anything. Days blended into weeks and time lost all meaning. Summer break eventually rolled around, but the official end of my freshman year barely even registered.
Then, out of the blue, something new started. My art class had been shut down due to lockdown, but my art teacher started offering virtual classes. Virtual classes didn’t feel very enticing at first, but I signed up to strengthen my skills. As the days went on, painting felt fun and enjoyable. Art class became one way I was able to keep track of the days, and it was a chance to actually do something. Making artwork felt rewarding because it actually resulted in a tangible result. I started making artwork outside of art class, and it helped me express myself. It gave me something to do during the summer.
In August, when school started back, there was a heavy air of fear. We had in-person school, but that just meant that we were in danger of getting covid. There were no major safety policies and places, and every other day, some students would get quarantined for weeks. Students were testing positive, but we had no idea how many of our classmates had Covid, or how safe the school was.
Amidst all of that uncertainty, my school art class was the only stable place for me. There weren’t many students in the class, so we were far apart and safe. Instead of the stressful classwork, and crowded rooms, we could peacefully work on our paintings for an hour at the end of the day. It was relaxing and made me feel less anxious, during the year.
Now, Covid 19 is almost over where I live, and things are returning back to normal, but art is still helping me express myself, and deal with stress. It brought me a sense of normalcy, in the midst of a global pandemic, and it continues to help me to this day.
Posted By Nina Thakur
Posted Jul 17th, 2021