Quaranteens Find a New Normal
Through mass media updates and reactions from authority figures across the globe, various responses to the Covid-19 pandemic have all amounted to the same thing: nationwide lockdowns, social distancing, and a wavering sense of uncertainty.
St. John’s School has increasingly added measures to protect the health and well-being of students, faculty, and staff; however, this has also included transitioning students to using online school platforms indefinitely, postponing the junior and senior prom, and cancelling activities
both inside and outside of the SJS campus.
Natalie Brown, currently a junior at St. John’s School, is a dedicated dancer in the SJS Upper School dance program. Amidst talk about online class schedules for adapting to the new normal, Brown wondered how ensembles, in particular, dance, would be affected.
Brown jokes, “I mean, it’s not like we can all dance together on Google Hangouts; it’s not the same.” As more details slowly began to unravel, the SJS fine arts department was forced to cancel the annual dance show scheduled for April 24th. “After I found out that our concert was cancelled, it made the idea of having dance classes pointless.”
As measures including social distancing and self-isolation were implemented, Brown continued to practice her art on her own. Brown added, “I stretch for about thirty minutes each day, but not any more than that. I am scared if I pull a muscle, there will be nowhere for me to go.”
In addition to at-home stretching, Brown watches workout videos on YouTube and Tik Tok to stay in the best shape possible during this time of uncertainty. In addition to workout videos, Tik Tok is a good platform for Brown to find dances to learn. Brown added, “As silly as it may seem, Tik Tok has a community of really talented dancers who share good choreography.”
Isabella O’Reilly, also a junior at SJS, is a member of the varsity women’s tennis team. As tennis is a spring sport, the team enjoyed little time together before the rest of the season came to an abrupt end. As O’Reilly also competes outside of the school tennis season, her normal structure consists of “private lessons with one of the Rice University Women’s coaches and solo practices at the Met Downtown Club.”
All of Rice University’s athletic facilities are all currently shut down as well as all other athletic clubs and gyms across Houston. Even several public park tennis courts are being shut down to promote safety measures and further spread of the Covid-19. In order to maintain her athleticism, O’Reilly partakes in runs around her neighborhood and follows various online workout videos.
In this time of unpredictability, the best thing people can do is find a new normal and create a routine in order to build structure in their daily lives. Brown and O’Reilly are among the many athletes, artists, and students who have had to adjust their own means of extracurricular
activities to a new environment.
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