COVID Pushes Boundaries

Family, friendships flourish through togetherness in quarantine

Cleaning+Supplies

Jada Boner

COVID closures impacted everything from schools to after school jobs to what people hoarded for their pantries and cleaning closets, all because no one knew how long product shortages would last and how long rolling closures and quarantines would go on.

Kayla Gonzalez, Staff Writer

Cleaning Supplies
COVID closures impacted everything from schools to after school jobs to what people hoarded for their pantries and cleaning closets, all because no one knew how long product shortages would last and how long rolling closures and quarantines would go on. (Jada Boner)

In March, Texas closed down all non-essential stores, leaving me to find entertainment in school work, my job and what we had at home. As for me, I worked in a grocery store, Brookshire’s, before the lockdown happened. In April, mass purchasing began happening at grocery stores everywhere, so the pace of my job changed dramatically overnight. 

Toilet paper and canned goods went missing from the shelves, with nothing to replace them with as customers began stockpiling their pantries and hoarding dry goods and consumables as much as possible. For a good month, we stayed busy trying to satisfy customers, but also trying to keep ourselves and coworkers safe in the progress. The thing that kept me going was working, a new, but old friend that began working with me and my school work that was now done 100% through the computer.

I showed my new coworker around our shared place of employment, and talked about the policies and the “normal” of working there before the pandemic hit. Her parents were cautious with us hanging out at first because they wanted to keep everyone safe at home.

When I started working at my part time job the previous fall, I became the most frugal person saving two thirds of my money and allowing myself to spend the rest of my paycheck. Usually I spent only a little of it, and that allowed me to put more into my savings account for the next paycheck. When I met my friend, I found the fine line of spending and saving. I saved half of my money and then spent whatever I had left over of my paycheck. I worked more but some weeks less during quarantine. I wanted to enjoy summer with my family and best friend, but I was still adjusting to the fact that this was the first summer where I worked. When we were first mandated to wear masks, my anxiety spiked because of my claustrophobia. The more I wore it right, it made it easier to realize I could still breathe. 

Not only was there work and spending time with my best friend during quarantine, but my family and I grew closer throughout time together. My step-dad was now always home when I was so used to him only being home a week out of the month due to his job. We ventured out in our relationship now that we all had to adjust to everyone being home for two months. To throw more adjustment in the loop, my step-sister came down to visit us for the first time since 2017 for a whole month. We made some of the greatest memories and even had the opportunity to see my older brother who serves in the Navy. All around, this pandemic forced everyone into their homes for months, but strengthened my friendships and most importantly, my family. 

COVID made me realize that the world can change in just a second. We never know what can happen to our loved ones or even to ourselves. This pandemic was hard on my whole family. I was the only one working in my family, so it was hard to watch my parents struggle. I tried my hardest though to see the good in the outcome of this pandemic. School would start and I would be able to see my friends and favorite teachers. My family started going back to work, but our relationships grew stronger from this. I met one of my closest friends and made summer memories that I have not had since moving here to Decatur from coming back to Texas after living in Arizona for a year. Through the loss and pain, the good outweighed the inconveniences and I am forever grateful for the time and the forced pause on the chaos of normal life.