How has social distancing already affected us? What will our social lives be like when the lockdown is over? The return to reality and “normal” daily life once quarantine is over might be even more complicated than its beginning. Psychologist Polina Russou explains that, “It is completely normal to be feeling uncertain in such times, because no one is certain about what the daily life they will return to will look like, and what changes we will have to make to our daily lives and routines.” This uncertainty is one that Jesse Lowe ’20 also shares. She explains the struggle to maintain a social life, saying, “Because I’m a senior it’s hard to know which changes are caused by the quarantine and which were going to happen anyway when we all moved away for college.”
A major change that will be inevitable when quarantine is over is the difference in human interactions. While many people are still self-isolating and staying at home, they are paying the price of the loss of human contact. After all, humans don’t just want social interactions, they desperately need them. Loneliness is like an adaptive response that acts as a reminder and a motivation to seek out social connections. A few ways that CRLS students are able to communicate between each other is online. Ruri Duffy ’23 explains, “I’ve always texted people and used social media but never as much as I do now, just because it’s the only way to communicate without seeing them every day.” Teenagers have been consistently in front of a screen for hours at a time during quarantine, but unfortunately the extra screen time can cause headaches, a decrease in attention span, and most likely lead to sleep deprivation.
Another problem with online communication is that it is hard to keep up a connection with all your friends. Sofia Carrasco ’22 says, “Quarantine makes it so that I have a select group of people I manage and interact with, while in school I was always in contact with many more people including teachers and staff. But now, it’s become very limited.” This, unfortunately, is the reality for many people who are stressfully trying to keep in touch with all their friends. However, having a limited group of people to talk to can strengthen the bond with these people, and is not necessarily a negative to one’s social life.
Nevertheless, quarantine can also have very positive impacts. When Rhodes Pate ’23 was asked what he believes his social life will be after quarantine he stated, “My experiences with my friends will be more meaningful and fun because I won’t have seen them in months.” Similarly, Mr. Alejandro Hernandez, a Spanish teacher at CRLS, claims that, “Having worked remotely for an extended period of time, lots of folks will find that they can meet remotely rather than travel to meet in person. This will certainly reduce air traffic and greenhouse emissions, which is positive for the planet.” This goes to show how beneficiary this lockdown has been to our world, and to our planet. After all, the quarantine does not have to be made up of only bad impacts and memories. Like any new experience, quarantine has its pros and cons, but it is important to always focus on the positive aspects in life.