Pandemic Upends Family Routines

Kylie Choi, Staff Writer

Contra Costa County issued a shelter-in-place order on March 16 due to the coronavirus pandemic. It ordered no large gatherings and for people to stay inside their homes in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19. For students at Campolindo, this not only means finishing the school year online, but also drastically changing their home and after-school lives.

Like many other people, we’ve stocked up on toilet paper, paper towels, hand sanitizer, and food,” said sophomore Sarah Tallarico, 1 of thousands of area students who has been practicing social distancing for the last 3 weeks.

“It’s so unpredictable because this is all new to us. We’re preparing for the worst, so if we end up having to be quarantined or whatnot for multiple days we have resources to live off of,” Tallarico said. 

Many students are finding new ways to fill their time now that most of their normal daily activities have been suspended. Freshman Ashlyn Chin said that she’s spending time at home deep-cleaning her room, “decorating it, cooking, and baking.”

While there may be more “free time,” some students are finding the situation less than inspiring when it comes to academic responsibility. “It’s pretty boring staying home, especially having the motivation to do things,” such as starting homework on time, added Chin.

Chin is disappointed with the cancelation of her spring plans, including the spring softball season, and her driver’s permit test. “I’m really, really sad about those,” said Chin.

Though the official high school sports season has been canceled, Chin has managed to stay active. “[I have] actually been doing a lot of at-home workouts because I feel kinda gross slouching around at home all day. I’ve also gone on quite a few hikes outside at nearby trails to get some fresh air which is nice,” she explained.

“I don’t feel super isolated, but it’s weird from going to a school full of people every day to only seeing your family on a daily basis. I still miss seeing my friends in person every day,” said Chin.

Junior Leila Stoll was disappointed that her activities, especially her dance practices at the California Academy of Performing Arts (CAPA), were canceled. “Because I am a generally busy and active person, it is definitely an adjustment to have so many of the things I am involved in canceled. On the bright side, though, I get to spend more time with my family and have more time, in general, to get things done and relax a bit. I just hope that all of us can find some benefits in this process, whether that means less stress, finding a new interest, or something else,” said Stoll.

For some, socializing has been limited strictly to family withing their households. Junior Robby Nykodym’s mother, Patty Nykodym, said, “We have certainly focused on staying at home, doing the hygiene recommendations and the social distancing, everything that’s been recommended.” 

With the threat of COVID-19 looming, there is a new social fixation on hygiene. Freshman Greta Koslosky’s parent, Chris Koslosky, said that she’s “mostly staying at home, washing hands a lot and spraying doorknobs with Lysol every so often” in an attempt to prevent any spreading.

While school closure has been a huge disruption to the community, as well as a tragic disappointment to students and parents for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is the cancelation of memory-making experiences like the school musical, sports championships, junior prom, senior ball, end-of-year awards ceremonies, and graduation, Patty Nykodym thinks that closing school was the right decision.  She noted that it’s some “young people who carry the virus and [are] transmitting the virus to others.”