Life in the Time of a Pandemic

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By now, COVID-19 has become a pandemic and is ravaging the Western world. Over in Korea, life is still lived with great caution. The streets are still emptier than usual. My trips to the grocery store are met with emptier aisles than I’ve experienced in my time here.

The seats of my classroom still sit empty, and I’m looking forward to seeing my kiddos again. 

For the most part, it feels like life is on pause. I don’t make any plans for the future. I don’t ever really think about the future, because even next week looks so uncertain. Instead, I try to stay busy, so I don’t get sucked into the vortex of reading far too many New York Times articles and fighting with people in the comment section of the Citizens Voice. Sometimes when I see people saying this whole thing is a hoax I just can’t help myself. Spoiler alert: it isn’t. I don’t know how you’d get the entire world on board with that, or what the purpose of it would be, anyway.

So while I am still going to work, I’ve been filling my evenings and weekends with solitary activities. 

Out for a walk during the pandemic

Tom Nook Who?

Perhaps my favorite activity and the favorite of many across the world is playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons. I haven’t played an AC game since the edition for GameCube. It’s been a long, long time. When I learned almost eight months ago that a version would come out for the Switch, I doubled down on my determination to save up for the handheld game console. Since I successfully conquered Ganon in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, I have been (im)patiently waiting for another game I could dedicate a lot of time to. And because of the whole pandemic thing, I have the perfect excuse to stay inside and develop my little island.

Spending Time with Old Friends

I’ve also been continuing in my re-reading of the Harry Potter series. Just the other day I told my friend how glad I am I decided to start re-reading them when I did. Not that I could have known a pandemic would happen, but it’s nice to spend this time with characters from my childhood. I’m currently on book six, having just finished Order of the Phoenix yesterday. After re-reading, I can confirm that the fifth book is still my favorite and the movie did it a terrible injustice. It’s also amazing how much more I catch reading as an adult than I did as a tween. I think we all know Umbridge is a vile woman, but I didn’t realize just how horrible she was until reading it again, picking up on her xenophobic and supremacist qualities. 

Recreating My Space

Spring is also a great time for cleaning up around my apartment. I’ve been slowly tackling the long list of cleaning items on my agenda. I also spruced up the place with some new house plants. It feels a lot more cozy when it’s clean and less cluttered. A few weeks ago I mopped up my floors, and I’ve gotten into the habit of scrubbing down my kitchen. Something about stainless steel counters just makes every single crumb and smudge stand out. This past weekend, I did so much laundry it was incredible. Even more incredible was me actually putting everything away. And transferring my winter clothing into vacuum-seal bags. Now I just need to take the clothing I no longer want to the donation bin.

Creative Cooking

The extra time on the weekends has also given me time to experiment with new recipes. My favorite by far has been these buffalo chickpea taquitos, but the chickpea nuggets I made are definitely a close second. This weekend, I’m planning on doing a little baking, venturing into the world of sourdough bread. A friend of mine gave me a bit of starter, and I’m really trying not to kill it. The more I read about sourdough, the more intimidated I am. But I will try! And if I fail, I will try again! And again and again.

Getting Schooled

Finally, I’ve been working on my graduate degree. Since my degree was online to begin with, I’ve not faced any problems with continuity. Topics in discussions have shifted a bit to incorporate the current climate of things, but otherwise, it’s business as usual. Last week was Spring Break, so I did not have any assignments due, and even taking one week off I found it hard to get back into the groove of reading and writing for school.

This weekend it’ll be rainy, so I’ll spend the weekend polishing up my Teaching Philosophy assignment in between kneading my sourdough. Which I think sounds like a great way to spend another weekend mid-pandemic

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