As the Hollis Brookline community enters its second month of isolation, most of us would love the chance to get our normal lives back. We’re missing out on time with friends and family, sports, school trips, plays and numerous other activities. Worst of all, the seniors are missing some of the last moments with their class, facing the possibility of their last spring season, prom, senior trip and graduation getting postponed or even cancelled. As much as this time has been disappointing and frustrating for all of us, many positive things have come out of it. Being stuck at home for a few months has given our community opportunities that we might only get once in our lifetime.
One of the most important things we’ve learned through this experience is how much we take for granted. Throughout the last few weeks, many of us have gained a new appreciation for in-school education, as well as other professions like health care workers and even the people who stock shelves at our local grocery store. We’re starting to realize how important people are in our lives now that we’re apart from each other. Civics and government teacher Trevor Duval has seen our community growing closer together and caring for each other during quarantine. “I like to think that in times like this, when we need each other, we as a community we show our true colors and support each other the best we can,” said Duval.
Another thing that is important to focus on throughout the outbreak is staying informed. “It’s just not getting any information, but information from vetted, trustworthy sources based on science, evidence and facts,” said Duval. The pandemic has helped teach us how to be responsible citizens and work together to handle the situation the best we can.
Being stuck at home has given us the chance to spend more time than ever to bond and grow closer with our loved ones at home. Math teacher Elizabeth Kolb loves all the extra time she’s been able to spend with her family. “We’ve been able to have dinner together every single day. We’ve been able to play a board game or a card game every night at dinner. And my dogs are happy that I’m home,” said Kolb. With the added flexibility of studying and working from home, families have had more time to get home projects done as well. For the first time, many of us get to slow down and take a break from the craziness of our usual fast-paced lives.
Although people might expect quarantine to discourage an active lifestyle, many people in our community have found new ways to be active and spend more time outside than usual. “I have absolutely loved seeing so many families and students out and about the community. I love seeing kids jumping on trampolines and seeing people out walking their dogs more so than ever,” said fitness teacher Tracy Gray. There’s many great ways to stay active and get outside like taking walks, playing catch, and even doing yard work. Working from home has allowed more time for breaks throughout the day, which is one of the reasons why people have been more active.When we return to normal life, finding time to take breaks can help us stay active in the future.
Lastly, the flexibility of remote learning has helped many students to get on a better sleep schedule, which benefits overall health as well as better brain function during the day. “Staying healthy is everyone’s main priority during times like these (this should ALWAYS be the priority) and what better time to hone in on those skills,” said Gray. As the freshman fitness teacher, she has helped students to find new ways to be active that are enjoyable for them, as well as focus on their overall well-being.
Aside from these benefits, the coronavirus has also provided much better air quality worldwide because of industry, aviation and other transportation slowing down. This pandemic has helped our country to come together as a united nation, all working together for the greater good. Additionally, many have found new ways to be creative with all the extra time on their hands.
During this difficult time, we’ve learned not to take life for granted, and to make the most of the opportunities we have. I hope this will help us to appreciate whatever situation we’re in, and see the good that can come from it.