Augustana Observer

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Augustana Observer

Finding peace in quarantine: guest columnist Brii Petty (’18)

Interior: Brii Petty (18) and a friend hang out inside their homemade blanket fort.
Interior: Brii Petty (’18) and a friend hang out inside their homemade blanket fort.

Brii Petty’s (’18) submitted quarantine survival tips.

It’s been a little over a week since my job decided to close and we were told to self-quarantine. As someone who saw the base of her personality as an introvert with extroverted tendencies, I thought this wasn’t going to be a problem. 
I’ve wanted an excuse to avoid people and work my entire life; this is what I had been waiting for. Until I realized what it was taking from me, and why I was suddenly more anxious then I had been not even a week earlier. 
I had a lowered immune system after a brush with E. coli last May, an experience that taught me what it was like to be at the peak of health until you suddenly weren’t. I had friends and loved ones that fell into the “more-at-risk” category. One of my best friends told me her brother, states away, had tested positive. It clicked into place that this wasn’t a joke, this wasn’t an overreaction. And I started to panic. 
Having anxiety since I was a kid, I’ve come up with a few different coping mechanisms over the years. My biggest one was talking about it, and when I have no one to talk about in person with, I turn to social media in an effort to at least feel like I’m talking about it.
So I started keeping a “Coronavirus Two Week Shutdown Log” on my snap story and Twitter as a way to track the time. I built a blanket fort in my living room for a comfy place to hide out. For whatever reason, these things were helping. 
I decided if this made me feel better, I should start focusing on the things that I now have time to do and can create to pass the time. My roommate and I invested in DIY projects, puzzles, food to cook. Making lists help me feel in control of situations, so I started a list of things to help us not go crazy during this time and asked other people to give suggestions.
We opened all the blinds in our apartment to let the sun in, and I kept up with the Logs, talking about my day, hoping that it would continue to bring myself and hopefully my friends reading it some peace of mind. 
When I created the Logs, I knew I wanted to keep them hopeful and positive. It was easy to do for the first few days, but when my work announced we’d be closed longer than expected I realized that I still had some negative things to process, so began journaling my logs so I had them in a written form and had a private place to express the feelings I considered more messy.
Exterior: blanket fort built by Brii Petty (’18).

Snapchat and Twitter also only allowed for so much room, but here I could go on and on with no character count to stop me. Once again, getting it all out helped. 
Being able to express what I’m feeling has been the biggest way to not go nuts during this time. Just because we’re being kept inside doesn’t mean our feelings should be. 
This is a scary time for many of us, there’s no use in denying that. But there’s still whole worlds we can create or escape to from the comfort of our homes. 
We can still video chat or FaceTime our friends and loved ones, we can still text, we still have so many ways to share thoughts and art. We now have time to lose ourselves in books, video games, those drawings and paintings you’ve been wanting to do for months but just didn’t have time. 
The world isn’t ending, friends. It’s simply paused. And right now, we’re okay. 
Featured image: Brii Petty (’18) and a friend hang out inside their homemade blanket fort.

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Finding peace in quarantine: guest columnist Brii Petty (’18)