Life in Massachusetts During COVID-19: Sarah’s Weekly Newsletter

Wednesday, March 18

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I’m a bit behind on blogging, per the recent changes in my life, but I’m hoping I can play catch-up today and knock out a few articles. I don’t think I need to go into all the details of what the coronavirus is and how to self-quarantine and wash your hands (in fact, I’m sure most of you are tired of hearing about it,) so I’ll skip over all that and just give you a little recap of my week.

So, spring break technically started last Friday, but I had to stay on campus until Sunday due to some other obligations and timing issues I had to take care of first. It was strange being (mostly) alone on those last two days of campus; the mood was somber, the streets were empty, and most of my friends had already evacuated home. I did have a couple of RA friends still on campus, so I spent my Friday night hanging out with them (six feet apart) in the lounge. It was comforting to be surrounded by people, but obviously a very strange environment. My good friend Alanis and I talked about whether or not we want to come back to campus, because while all of our classes are now online, we still have the choice to decide if we want to stay in the resident halls. I had previously wanted to stay in the resident halls so I could still see my friends, but now that my college is really urging us to stay come and making it exceptionally difficult for us if we do stay (boxed meals instead of the dining hall, not being allowed to visit anyone, etc), I’ve decided I would like to stay at home. Buck was also a huge factor in my wrestling with the decision, because I love him so very much and it’s already hard enough being away from him for spring break. However, he does have a car and we are committed to still seeing each other as often as we can. In fact, he’s coming down for a few days this weekend to see me, so that will be so lovely and important. Don’t worry, we aren’t planning on leaving my house, and we have lots of self-quarantine ideas planned. The highlights include potting a plant together, having a wine tasting, and painting empty bottles. 

So, all of those turbulent (and isolating) changes are very annoying, but we make do with what we have. Another big stresser in my life is apartment hunting, because I don’t have a job right now but I desperately need to find a place to live after graduation. My two future housemates and I have landed on a few places we really like, so now it’s just a matter of settling somewhere and getting ready to move in. It’s scary, but exciting! 

An analogy I refer back to a lot in my life is the idea that we all carry backpacks and the big, heavy rocks in our backpacks represent all the problems and stressers we have in our lives. Obviously, my metaphorical backpack is pretty loaded up with some heavy boulders right now, so I’m trying to focus on what things I can “take out” of my backpack and set aside for now, just to lessen the burden of carrying everything all the time. Graduation/college/education is all very stressful, but there’s nothing I can do about it right now, so I’m not going to dedicate any worry towards that. Being isolated from my friends and my partner is also very stressful, but I know Buck is crazy for me just as much as I am for him, and we’re in it for the long haul. I don’t think he’s going anywhere, even if we can only see each other a few times a month, so I’m not going to worry about that, either. I guess my biggest form of stress right now is just the general uncertainty of not knowing how long this will drag on for. I suppose I’m fortunate to be a homebody, because I really don’t mind hanging out in the house all day. I’m quite content with my books and my laptop and my dog, so that’s what I’m using to keep myself occupied. And of course, seeing my lovely human this week will be an uplifting boost.

Oh, I’m also on my period and going through some major PMS, so I apologize for the general downbeat tone of my week! I’m trying to stay as optimistic as possible, so thank you all for sticking around and giving me a reason to keep writing.  


Sunday, March 22

Hi everyone, I hope you all had a great weekend despite (probably) being self-isolated and worried about the coronavirus. I actually had a very fabulous and busy weekend, hence why I didn’t have any time to write. It’s about 2:40pm now, and with a coffee in hand, this is the first chance I’ve had to sit down with my laptop. So, let’s start with Thursday evening and work our way to now.

Obviously, my circle of socialization is quite small right now; it’s essentially limited to my mother, my boyfriend, and Eli. Eli came over for a few hours on Thursday night and helped me finish a bottle of pinot grigio, and then we watched about three hours worth of America’s Next Top Model. Don’t worry, we made sure to sit a few feet apart! As crazy as times are right now, one of the silver linings for me is that Eli is home right now- indefinitely.

The next morning, I woke up to the news that my university had decided to cancel graduation in May and instead opt for a “virtual commencement”- something that was quickly met with backlash by us, the student body. Lots of petitions and confused, angry emails later, we received another email from the school stating that they will “quickly reconsider” their options and see if they can postpone graduation for a couple of months instead. We’re supposed to have a more definite answer within the next few weeks.

Following that exciting-ness, my day took a positive turn because Nathaniel (aka Buck, as he is affectionately nicknamed), came to stay with me for three days. In a really nice coincidental turn of events, my mom went up to Maine to see her fiance for the weekend, so Buck and I had the place to ourselves. We did mostly stay inside, as we are supposed to in these sickly times, but we also did take a couple of nature walks in the outdoors. Buck lives in western Massachusetts, so he’s not as accustomed to seeing the ocean as I am. It was such a wholesome, pure feeling of joy to see his excitement for the water and how the wind makes the sand float across the beach in ghostly streams. We also made burritos together, watched a lot of Jeopardy! (he’s a pro, I learned), and spent adequate time slow-dancing in my living room to The Grateful Dead. So altogether, a really beautiful weekend, and it was quite sad to see him go. But I’m planning on going out to western Mass to see him later this week or early next week, assuming a Shelter in Place isn’t ordered in Massachusetts.

Anyway, now I’m going to upload this blog, get some homework done (I have to read an entire book by tomorrow, yikes), and probably play The Sims later in the evening. I also want to do some watercolor painting, but there are only so many hours in the day, and I already have quite a few things planned. Thanks for reading; I’ll try to be more on top of my posting schedule this week!

Pictures from this weekend:

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