Friday, June 2, 2023

Quarantined in Coronado: How Does a Teenager Shelter in Place?

Me walking my two dogs, Roxy and Tula, along the pathway by Coronado Beach.

Before Coronavirus I led a typical high school student-athlete life: sleep, study, school, sports, more study, repeat. My mornings would normally start around 6am with daily activities keeping me on the go until I would climb into bed exhausted late each night. 

After schools closed on March 13th all my school and sports activities were cancelled or postponed indefinitely. Governor Gavin Newsom’s March 19th ‘shelter in place’ order put all the other aspects of life on hold. Now, my daily schedule is simplified to include sleeping, some studying, snacking, walking my dogs, and distance socializing with friends and family. Like most teenagers, I had been sleep deprived. During this shelter in place I am finally catching up on my sleep and have rediscovered my preschool enjoyment of naps. 

I try to make myself wake up around 9am to do some studying (heavy parental encouragement here). Coronado High School hasn’t technically assigned homework during the March 16 through April 3 time when schools are closed.  However, most of my teachers are offering “optional” assignments. My AP teachers have announced that the AP tests in May are only covering lessons covered till mid March. My AP Biology class does not have to do any more work, but my AP World History class has a couple more units that we need to cover. With this extra time, I have started studying for both exams to be prepared for May.

As my 16th birthday is coming up, I was excited to finally start driving. In order to get a driver’s license I have to first get my learner’s permit from the DMV. The last six months I have been so focused on school and sports that I hadn’t prepared for the permit test. Once I realized I would have more free time to study, I hoped I could visit the DMV to get my permit. However, as of March 22nd, the DMW has closed all offices for 60 days so I won’t be getting my permit any time soon.

Now that I have so much unscheduled time, one of my favorite activities is playing with my dogs! In January, my family adopted two chihuahua mixes from PAWS of Coronado. I instantly fell in love with my new furry friends, Roxy and Tula. While in school I didn’t have much time to walk or play with them, but now they receive constant attention from everyone in my family. Recently, I have been taking my two dogs on very long walks which is their exercise and the only way I can safely leave my house. Fortunately, the shelter in place guidelines have determined that walking dogs is an essential activity that allow people to leave their homes.

My two dogs, Tula and Roxy, exploring Coronado Dog Beach before it closed.

Staying home all day can be boring, so I am revisiting some of my old hobbies. In middle school, I loved to bake cookies, cake, and my favorite, meringues. Over the weekend I baked some chocolate chip cookies and my brothers, bored with nothing to do, criticized my cookies and felt the need to prove themselves and challenged me to a “baking contest” to see who can make the best cookies. My mom and dad were supposed to be judges but they sampled all our cookies and declared the results an even tie. Looking back, baking three batches of cookies may not have been the best idea as it used a lot of flour and eggs. We have not run out of anything yet but we may need to the grocery store soon.

Even though I used to be busy and tired all the time,  I now realize that I miss my old routine. I am enjoying the sleep and the free time, but I miss being with my friends. Social media is keeping us connected but it is not the same as seeing them in person. I know I am anxiously waiting for the day when we can be together again, but I’m afraid it will not be any time soon. Until then, I am planning to keep up and focused on my new schedule so that I will be rested and prepared when normal life resumes.

If you’d like to send us your “Quarantined in Coronado” story, email [email protected]. It can be humorous or serious, highlighting the caring side, the hard situations or the lighter situations. What’s your experience? Send a photo too!

Chloe Berk
Chloe Berk
Chloe has called Coronado home since she could walk or talk and considers herself a true Islander. She is currently a student at Coronado High School and a writer for the Islander Times. After studying and writing articles, she enjoys volleyball, the beach, and her newly-adopted dogs from PAWS. Have news to share? Send tips, story ideas or letters to the editor to: [email protected]