Lockdown Living

Seabury community acclimates to quarantine life

Evan McHenry

The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly shaken up all of our lives, making our old routines impossible and completely altering our schedules, but it has also provided an opportunity for new types of entertainment, bonding and ways to pass the time. With the stay at home orders active for about a month now, Seabury students and faculty alike are becoming more acclimated to their new (and hopefully temporary) way of living. 

One change is when school starts: “I’m sleeping in more than I usually would be, and my sleep schedule is pretty off,” says eighth-grader Sage McHenry. “I can kind of start doing work whenever I want.” Since there is no morning meeting or commute, students can wake up later, and most students do not have a first hour class every day of the week, which means they can get away with even more sleep. 

Sophomore Ivan Calderon shares the same sentiment as McHenry, saying, “I am waking up much later than the norm.” However, that hasn’t stopped him from maintaining his fitness: “My main goal is to continue to stay healthy,” Calderon adds. “So I’ve been doing 100-200 pushups a day, along with practicing my Taekwondo! It’s super fulfilling, and I totally recommend any form of exercise.” 

Faculty member Leslie McCaffrey has also been using her time to exercise. She says, “I still have my walking and running partners but we now go somewhere different; we run on the levee so we can be together but socially distant. Since it’s such a wide path, we can be six feet apart when we run.” 

Students and faculty are also using their newfound time to focus more on their hobbies, or even start new ones. “Nothing feels as urgent,” McCaffrey says. “I’m able to work out more and I’m reading more.” 

Seventh grader Eni Wintoki says, “I’ve been reading many more books than usual and I have been practicing piano more as well.” Additionally, she’s had time to learn a new skill: “I have started knitting and have made a few things.” 

McHenry has been taking advantage of her free time, too: “I painted my room,” she says. “It was something I wanted to do for a while, but I didn’t have the time to get around to it, and then quarantine happened so I was able to.”

While people are stuck at home, social media plays an even more important role in keeping them connected to the school, and so McCaffrey has been keeping Seabury social media accounts brimming with content. “I feel like the whole social media thing with Seabury has ramped up–that is probably taking up a lot of my time, more than I thought it would. A lot of parents stay connected to the school through social media right now.” In a special tribute to the senior class, who have lost a much-anticipated part of their senior year, McCaffrey has even created individual Instagram posts that highlight each senior and their accomplishments. 

People are also finding ways to see each other, even with social distancing measures in place. Many students are staying in touch with each other via social media, like Snapchat or even Zoom, the same tool we use for distance learning. Regarding how he sees his friends, Calderon says, “We snap each other saying hello and how much we miss each other, or we end up having long conversations on Zoom.” 

Calderon is not the only one using Zoom to his advantage: Wintoki adds, “I have a Zoom group chat with my friends and we zoom every few days. There’s a way to watch Netflix with your friends online and I’ve been using that.” 

And online meeting isn’t limited to one’s local friends: “I’ve been able to connect weekly with my friends who live in California,” McCaffrey says. “Normally we wouldn’t do that, but now we can, and there’s no reason we won’t keep this up.” Since everyone is under lockdown, friends anywhere can connect digitally when they want to see each other. 

Some students have also met in person, while still maintaining the required physical distance from one another: “I’ve been doing some socially-distant visits with my friends outside,” says McHenry. “A lot of people have been bringing their friends food and stuff just to be nice, and I’ve been doing that.” And the pandemic hasn’t dampened all festivities either–it has actually inspired some clever improvisation: “My friends got together over a group chat and came up with a plan to bring me cupcakes for my birthday, so I got like six different things of cupcakes,” McHenry says. In addition to receiving surprise cupcakes, McHenry also had a socially distant birthday party in her backyard. 

In this unique time of crisis, things seem abnormal and new challenges arise, but as the saying goes, modern problems require modern solutions. So improvise and improve; stay strong, Seabury folks. We can and will get through this.