By: Samantha Ebner (12th Grade)
While many Hebrew Academy students are starting to go stir crazy from the quarantine, some are finding silver linings in the situation and pointing out positives about being in lockdown.
The rules of quarantine are that everyone may only be with the people they are currently living with and maintain a six-feet distance from others. These stringencies have opened many people’s eyes to the importance of nature. People are using this time to walk on the boardwalk, run in their neighborhoods, or even enjoy the pool and sit outside.
“Since we are home all day, the boredom forces us to go outside and enjoy the fresh air,” said Noah Ganem (12th). “This past week I’ve played soccer, tennis, gone biking, and ran around my neighborhood.”
Additionally, the quarantine has led to a healthier lifestyle for some. With most restaurants closed, many families who usually rely on takeout are now forced to cook. Reading the ingredients for food products that they want to cook has opened people’s eyes to how detrimental some foods are to our health. Others say they can now take the time to cook and eat healthier options.
“Before corona I didn’t really have any time for anything, especially not making my own food,” said Mary Berkowitz (11th). “With not having to commute two extra hours everyday, I’m able to try out recipes that I hadn’t before. Cooking has taught me how unhealthy some foods are and good substitutions for healthier options. I’m honestly really happy with that, and it honestly makes me feel a lot more energized.”
The times that we are currently living in are unparalleled. Never has something occurred that affected everyone so drastically worldwide. This has led many people to self reflect and question their day-to-day routines, whether that be social interactions, societal issues, or worldly matters.
“Since I’ve been home, and I do the same thing everyday, I’ve questioned and changed my daily routines,” said Ben Rubinov (11th). “I’ve realized that things that happened to me, or our society, don’t really matter. We should appreciate the small things, like the time we have with our family, because who knows what’s going to happen.”
The positive effect on the environment is another aspect of the quarantine that has some climate change activists talking. Because the lockdown has closed many factories, pollution and greenhouse gas emission have dropped. Many believe that due to the decrease in pollution and gas emission, climate change will not affect the environment as drastically.
“Since everyone is inside, the CO2 emissions have gone drastically, especially in China, which is one of the country's with the highest CO2 emissions,” said Yael Bister (12th).
While many are able to focus on the positive, most students say the hardest part is not being able to see their friends in person.
“The thing I miss the most, I think, is being able to go out and hang out with my friends, especially since this is our last year together,” said Sarah Attias (12th grade). “I feel like we’re all missing out on so many moments we were supposed to experience this year.”
Even though many are getting tired of being cooped up at home all day and miss their friends, experts say it is important to stay optimistic and notice the positive effects of this outbreak.
“A positive frame of mind can be truly beneficial, even when facing grave illness,” said school psychologist Dr. Susan London. “Positive thinking can influence and improve mental and physical health, motivation and performance, and academic and career success.”