Safe at Home: Criterion staff writer Lindsay Barwick reflects on life during quarantine


“Even though this is a terrible situation, it has made me appreciate the people in my life who support me.”

The COVID-19 Shelter in Place Order has affected me more than I expected. Usually, I can’t wait for the school clock to say 3:28 and for the bell to ring to signal the end of the day.

Don’t get me wrong. I like school, but going home after a long day is just the best.

I should be living my ultimate dream right now, but I can’t wait until I can go back to school.

In the weeks leading up the Shelter in Place Order, I heard about the coronavirus as a far-fetched virus that couldn’t possibly shut down the United States.

I remember hearing teachers talk about it at the beginning of class and tell us about what was going on in Wuhan, China. They always talked about it in a way that showed that they didn’t think it was a serious concern for the United States.

I remember Friday, March 13th. That was the day that the virus became real at Craig High School.

Teachers were preparing us for the worst, telling us to check Google Classroom and Infinite Campus daily for updates. They told us that we should probably take home what we need because Governor Evers is projected to shut down school for the rest of March.

I could tell that they were worried and didn’t know what was about to happen. Later that day, Governor Evers announced that all Wisconsin schools would be shut until April 6th.

Like many students, I was excited for this announcement. No school for three weeks, no waking up at 6:00 am every day to get ready for school, no homework, no tests.

By the end of that weekend, my attitude changed.

I started worrying about my AP classes. Would I be prepared for the test if I was out of school for three weeks? Would there still even be a test? How am I supposed to take an important test like this at home? Am I even able to get college credit for it?

As a junior who had just taken the ACT, I worried about how–or when, or even if–I would get my results back. Would they be postponed indefinitely?

It was a very stressful couple of days. Adding to the difficulty was not having a schedule or anything that I “had” to do.

I’m thankful that a lot of my teachers put enrichment activities on Google Classroom for me to do. It was very hard to be stuck at home and have no idea how we would finish the school year. Eventually, you run out of shows to binge watch.

Being in quarantine is hard. It’s hard to be at home when home is the only place you should be. It’s hard to concentrate on homework when you’re not in a school environment and you get to be in your pajamas all day.

It’s hard to do school when learning online doesn’t work for you and you need that face to face interaction with a teacher or classmate to understand the material.

It’s hard to want to do school when finding a quiet space to work is difficult. It’s hard to concentrate on school with temptations like your phone, the television, video games, and your Netflix account seeming like much better options.

It’s hard to get up everyday knowing that today is going to be exactly like yesterday. It’s hard to be told by your parents, the governor, and the president that you can’t see your friends.

It’s hard to see the same people every day and being in the same surroundings without feeling like you’re going insane.

I’m very thankful that I have a very energetic dog that needs to be walked three times a day, or else I wouldn’t have gotten very much physical activity or gotten a chance to leave the house at all during my Coronacation.

I’m thankful that I (and the people in my household) have no underlying health risks that could make us more susceptible to the virus. I’m very thankful that the majority of my family is able to stay at home and keep themselves safe from contracting the virus.

Although I know that being at home is the safest option at this time, I’m really looking forward to when life will get back to “normal.”

As of right now, the US is predicted to go back to “normal” around June, July, or August, but recent reports are now saying that if we aren’t careful, the virus could have a resurgence in the fall.

When we are able to go back outside and the world starts spinning again, I really want to go to a restaurant, go to the mall, and finally get my wisdom teeth taken out (a weird thing to want to do, but all non-emergency surgeries are canceled as of right now).

Even though this is a terrible situation, it has made me appreciate the people in my life who support me, like my friends, my family, my teachers, and my classmates.

Quarantine may suck, but it has given me the time to reflect on my daily life pre-quarantine and think about how I want to live my life when all of this is over.

Little things in my life at school and home now seem insignificant compared to the state of the world. I want to use this experience to support those in my life that I feel made it better and leave behind those who made it worse.