What happened to April?


Photo: Karla Charqueno

Using a timer, senior Karla Charqueno captures a photo of herself in her cap and gown. Charqueno imagined a very different end to her senior year than spending it in quarantine.

Even though it’s makeshift, I have a mask to wear outside now. When I finally went outside after being in my home for a week, I’ve noticed not too much has changed; a horde of masks and gloves are still present, there are still workers encouraging social distancing, but on the bright side, there seems to be a new calm hitting us, and perhaps the whole country now.

Toilet paper is starting to last on the shelves into the afternoon now instead of disappearing in the morning. There seems to be something new people want as desperately as Charmin or Clorox Wipes… hair cutting products. Since all of the salons and barbershops have been closed, many more people are getting the same idea my mother had when we went to the store to buy something that will cut my little brother’s hair which has gotten longer during these weeks of quarantine. We went to several stores, but its spot on the shelves was dust free and clear. The closest thing we could find was beard trimmers.

That is not my biggest worry though.

The last time anyone has had this amount of time to themselves to spend with their family was when we were toddlers. Without work or school to go to, teens and young adults like me have never had this much free time that we could seize, and once this pandemic is over, we may never again have the time that we do now. There’s a struggle every day to decide whether or not we should relax, watch documentaries and movies or be productive and find out what new things we could learn at home that would help prepare us for our classes or open up new interests that were never given a chance to explore. Things to strengthen my computer knowledge such as excel, coding and typing skills or reading educational books on issues relating to my desired future profession are also something I want to focus on, but at the same time, I also want to diverge some of my time to my hobbies and personal interests like learning how to embroider. Combining this with homework, chores and family duties-I feel like I have all the time in the world, except that every ten minutes that has passed feels like twenty. April itself feels like it just started, but I’ve just found myself at the end of it. I’ve been here the whole time but have no idea where April went.

It may be the shock or the disbelief of this situation still seeping in, but I’ve yet to truly set my mind to anything outside the COVID-19 pandemic.