Time to be with family

Deja Fitzwater finds the silver lining of quarantine


Photo courtesy of Deja Fitzwater

Deja Fitzwater and her grandmother play cribbage. Fitzwater has been living with her grandparents since distance learning began.

By Deja Fitzwater, Staff Writer

     The week after the postponing of Unity Day was a blur for me, and I can’t remember doing anything other than some household chores or finishing up some random school assignments that were given to me the week before.  

     I suddenly found myself packing my bags and being sent out of Oregon to Northern Idaho to stay with my grandparents due to the rising alarm for the COVID-19 pandemic.  

     It was so fast and unexpected, and at the time I thought I was going to stay with them for only a month, but that month turned into three months very quickly.  

     Thinking about it now, I feel so fortunate to be with them.  I am hearing all sorts of stories every night at dinner, and my French grandmother is teaching me about our culture and I am learning how to make the meals her mother made for her, as well as the meals that she made for my mother in her childhood. 

     My mother visits every two or three weeks, but I still call her every day regardless, because those are her rules. I also phone my best friend and her mom daily to talk to them about most everything going on in my ‘At Home Life’. I am getting even closer with the two of them, and I can’t say enough how happy I am to be able to talk to everyone in my life so often, even if it’s not in person.

     Soon, I will be leaving Idaho to go on a family trip with my best friend to Sunriver. Something that we would have never gotten to do if this virus had not spread across the world, because we would have had to go to volleyball practice.  

     That is one large downside of being in quarantine, is the fact that our sports were cancelled for the spring. Unfortunately, this also affected the summer preseason conditioning as well. This means that if we have fall sports this year, athletes will not have had that much playing time ahead of the season which could potentially lead to more injuries and less wins for young teams. 

     Although, I have heard that some of my friends say that their families play family football or badminton every weekend, which sounds nice. Being out with your family is a dream that a lot of people never get to accomplish. Just from the people I follow on social media, I have seen them participating in fun family activities that has brought them closer together. 

     “We have movie and game nights all the time. I help my eight-year-old daughter with her school work and I would say we work great as a team. My wife also fixes dinner often, which is a nice change,” math teacher Vincent Fritzie said. 

     Fritzie has nothing but high regards for getting to spend time with his family in quarantine, and said that he would tell this story to his future grandkids with high positivity. Freshman Hailey Zinsli has some different thoughts on the matter.

     “We haven’t done anything to bond, because both my parents are essential workers so they leave me home alone all day with the dog,” Zinsli said. Being an only child, Zinsli feels like there is not much more bonding her and her family can do together. She talked about how being in quarantine with her family was basically just like the rest of the school year, but even more boring.

     Whether or not your quarantine has been a whirlwind like mine, great family bonding time, or even more boring than the school year, we all have had many different experiences.

     This is something that will be taught in future history classes as an important, life-changing time in history. Families that may have never had time to be together before, can now have that opportunity. For many of us this has been the silver lining of quarantine.

     I cannot say enough how fortunate I feel to be able to spend this time with my family, so put down your device and go play a game or help with dinner. This will be a memory that you will remember for the rest of your life.