I’ve lost many things during this time but I’ve also found many things that helped balance out the good and the bad.

2 Weeks
“2 weeks,” They said. On March 13, 2020, as the rain poured the sky in grey, the teachers warned us about what was to come. They prepared us and the only thing on my mind was, a break, finally. I didn’t care about the rain drenching my shoes or the thought of school shutting down, I mean after all it was only 2 weeks. The thing is, then those 2 weeks turned into 2 more weeks, then 2 months, then 4 months passed, then 6 months, then a year passed. It’s funny how “2 weeks”, turns into a whole year. The Corona-Virus: A virus that spreads mainly from person to person, mainly through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes; A virus that infected 124 million people, and has caused 2.74 million deaths.
This is the overall definition of the Corona-Virus, but to me, the Corona-virus wasn’t a virus but more like a gift given to help heal others. You might think I’m crazy, but I actually was able to discover more about myself and I also saw the world and my friends and family heal from the past. When I say this, I’m talking about how places like China were able to see blue skies for the first time in years, how even in places like LA where pollution is high were able to see bio-luminescent waves, and many people took this time to make amends/a better relationship with friends and family. This virus wasn’t totally bad in my opinion but I did lose many things like many people, but I’m pretty sure, the corona-virus has also given something to everyone as well.

The first thing I lost when quarantine started was my connection/communication with people. As time passed, I lost touch with friends and mainly only focused on the future and not really the present. I was constantly worried about the virus and even began to develop an unhealthy view on things. Even going out on walks, I felt like I needed to take a shower right away or even when I would touch something before going to bed, I would need to wash my hands. As I began to fall into a ditch, some of my closest friends had reached out to me and pulled me out from it. It made me feel more comfortable and helped me realize that those friends would always be there for me. I had lost connections with many people-bonds, shares of love for things, but with those losses, I was able to gain somethings that I would have never gained without the virus. Every loss led to new finds that helped me become a better person during this time.

During quarantine, one of the things that kept me company was TV. I watched a lot of good shows and movies during this time and even found passions through watching these shows/movies. One of my greatest finds that I found out of was because of watching a show on Netflix that soon became one of my favorite shows, The Queen’s Gambit. This show had inspired me to play chess, and at first I didn’t really understand it, but overtime, I strategized and learned new ways and it eventually started to become exciting and fun. Every person I played had different moves and strategies which excited me, because not two games were the same. My favorite piece is probably the Queen because she can go straight, horizontal, diagonal, etc. Chess is now one of my favorite games to play and I can even play it by myself. This is probably one of my greatest finds that I will treasure for a long time, even after quarantine.

Lastly, during summer, I developed a new find that made me feel more calm and at peace during this rocky time, surfing. I would go surfing almost everyday in summer. My friends and I would go surfing and during summer, I did a surf camp from June-August. One of my favorite memories I have while surfing was when dolphins went underneath my board. This kind of freaked me out a bit, but it was also a very euphoric experience. I also learned that Manhattan Beach dolphins are huge, they were the same size/larger than my 8ft board. I was able to surf and catch a lot of waves and also learned more about the ocean, new tricks while surfing including the casket, and some safety measures to take there. Even without a board, I would swim in the ocean for days. The longest I’ve been in the water without getting out once was 5 hours. Also because of the ocean, I’ve built a tolerance against cold weather/cold waters. Since I had been going in the water so much, now when I go into cold waters, even during the winter, I can stand it/not be cold. It’s also probably because during summer I didn’t use a wet-suit. Even during winter, I wore a spring suit which is not the best idea because I got a rash/burn on my knees that looked like a really big sun-burnt. I also learned that I prefer the morning waves then day-time waves because usually in the morning, they’re more mellow/fun. Even though the water is pretty cold during that time, it is totally worth it. This summer was pretty crazy but these activities made me feel more calm and excited for the next day.

I did lose many things but I also found many things during this time. The losses and the finds helped balance out things during this time and kept me going. Even when everyday felt almost exactly like the same as the other, the little things in life kept me going. Things like the rain that would dance against the rooftops, or the waves crashing against the sand, or even being with my family. These small things in life made a huge impact on me and overall, helped me go through this crazy time. To be honest, I’m actually pretty glad that the Corona-Virus happened. This time gave me time to think and helped me improve myself. Without the Corona-Virus, I would have never been able to get this close with my friends, more time with my family, and time to focus on myself. Quarantine felt like my own personal bubble where I could just be alone and escape reality from all my problems and to not need to worry about anything else except for the present. I don’t know why, but the virus felt like a warm melancholy hug to me, a hug that lasted for a whole year that reminded me everyday, that it was alright and everything was going to be OK. I’m glad that I held onto this “hug” for over two weeks. So these “2 weeks” that started everything, ended up being the best “2 weeks” of my life.

Juna Manabe

Location: California

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