Photo contributed by Hali Coombs
I remember that fateful March Friday like it was yesterday. The day that schools across the nation were closed down for the COVID-19 pandemic. We all thought it would only last two weeks. Kids at my old high school wanted it to happen so they could have a break from classes.
Two weeks turned into a month, and we all saw our senior year of high school slip out of our fingers like a handful of sand at the beach.
We didn’t want it to happen anymore. We actually wanted to go back to school for once. That thought alone really cemented to me how historical this event really was.
Being alone for all that time was really damaging to my mental health. I had nothing to do other than think and watch the news.
I had never felt so alone, but I wasn’t alone in this feeling. “Public health actions, such as social distancing, are necessary to reduce the spread of COVID-19, but they can make us feel isolated and lonely and can increase stress and anxiety,” the CDC said.
Every gray cloud has a silver lining though. Social media has boomed during quarantine and helped people connect to each other from all over the country and even the world.
On TikTok, millions of people flooded the app in order to make content. Whether it was for the dance trends or cosplay videos, people created and people ate it up.
For me personally, I spent a lot of time scrolling through TikTok, and found myself on an app called Discord, which was like a giant group chat where you can meet, text and voice chat with other people of similar interests.
I joined a discord server and met some of the kindest people I’ve ever met on the planet. I connected with everyone through our shared interests and even learned about some new media.
Nothing will ever beat watching a speedrun of Majora’s Mask, when you have no idea what the Legend of Zelda series is even about.
My time in quarantine has allowed me to learn new things from so many people across the country, as well as about myself.
When you talk to vastly different people, you get new points of view, new experiences, and a fun conversation.
While COVID-19 has been terrible and I would never wish for something like it to happen again, some good can come out of bad situations. You just need to know where to look.