Being Quarantined Saved My Family
I was not excited about returning home from school. Not at all.
As my 21st birthday was creeping up on me--only days away--I was forced to leave my school and go into quarantine because the government mismanaged COVID-19.
It felt so unfair, having to rip my entire existence away from Xavier University in New Orleans (which is a perfect place to celebrate your 21st birthday) and go back to my mom’s house.
It was not an easy transition, as my brother had taken over my room like an invader, and I had to force him to move back out. It created a lot of tension between us, and we did not get along for a good week or so. Furthermore, it did not help that my mother was not on my side either. My mother said, “Let him keep the room! Just sleep on the couch!” I argued back, saying there is a perfectly good bed in my other brother’s room for him to sleep in, and they are closer in age; therefore, it makes more sense for them to share a room than he and I.
So yes, obviously quarantine was not the best for me.
However, it taught me a lot about myself, my family, and how we show our love to each other. As unhappy as I was to be returning home so abruptly in March, I also found myself becoming sad about having to leave my family to go back to school in August.
In those short five months, my family and I had become closer than we were before. My brothers and I started opening up to each other and sharing stories that I would never tell them, and they shared stories they would never have told me. My parents and I reconciled on issues I never thought we would ever do, and we talked about things I never thought we would be able to discuss.
I was also able to get my old job back that I had in high school, and a lot of my old coworkers still worked there. It was like I was living in a flashback dream, and I was suddenly 17 again; however, this time around, I was happy. I was not depressed or angry. In a way, being quarantined in close quarters with my family was exactly what I needed, and I did not even know it. It helped me heal in a way, even though I did not realize I was hurt or broken.
This whole ordeal has brought me closer to my family. It’s made me appreciate them more and have even more love for them than I thought I could. I cherish them even more deeply because I got to learn more about them.
When I was growing up, we never talked and be deep with one another. We were going to school, to work, coming home, talking about our day, and the cycle would repeat the next day. Everything was so fast and hectic. While quarantined, circumstances forced us to sit around each other, see the differences we have, and learn that they bring us closer together instead of tearing us apart. Quarantine, in a way, saved my family, and I will be forever grateful.