Life: One year into Covid

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Raymond Luna / El Paisano Media

Raymond takes his rollerblades to an empty hockey rink to practice “falling with style.”

D-Day

March 13, 2020 is a day I can remember so vividly in my mind as if it was yesterday. I wouldn’t have known that would be the last day the world seemed normal. No masks, no social distancing and most importantly no worries. I remember everyone watching the news and trying to understand what’s going on in the world. People were out rushing to grocery stores, buying out all of the medicine and toilet paper. Nobody knew exactly what COVID-19 was, or how it worked and how to treat it.

One month in

The first month was pretty scary. Being inside all day and watching the news for updates was stressing me out. I was stress eating, gaining weight, and having slight panic attacks. Never in my life have I tuned in to watch the news every single day from 11am to 1pm to watch Mayor Garcetti and Governor Gavin Newsom give COVID-19 updates. It was as if I was watching Saturday morning cartoons again. Being cooped up inside and eating poorly was doing more harm than good. So what did I do? I did what everyone else did during quarantine. Turn to Amazon! I had just gotten into Hockey so I ordered a hockey stick, gloves and a few pucks to learn inside. Luckily, I have hardwood flooring so it was easy to learn stick handling from the living room.

School

It was also my first semester back at Rio Hondo after seven years. I was really excited to be back and further my education. I had only been on campus for about two months before we had to go on lock down. Learning online was an experience. Finishing that Spring semester had a lot of hiccups, but that was to be expected since many of the classes aren’t taught online. By the time Summer semester began, online learning greatly improved.

Summer

As summer rolled around I started to go outside a little more, apart from just grocery shopping and essential needs. I bought a pair of roller blades and tried to learn how to skate.  I would look for empty parking lots to practice. Apart from learning to play hockey I went out fishing a lot more. As much as I was outside I was taking every necessary precaution to remain safe. Luckily fishing is the most socially distanced activity you could do. I stayed away from piers and large crowds. The best way to do that is by getting up early and fishing off the surf. I would get to Newport Beach by 6am and leave by 10am before beach goers started showing up.

Covid

The seasons changed and Christmas was here in no time. It was horrible not being able to spend the holidays with family and friends. Unfortunately, COVID-19 finally caught up to me the day after Christmas. I didn’t attend any parties or gatherings, but I was still working in-person at the time which is where I probably got the virus. I was sick for a total of nine days. It was the worst sickness I had ever felt. It felt different. From the moment I woke up I knew I had it. I had every symptom in the book. The body aches, fever, chills, cough, cold, everything! I was afraid since I had developed Asthma a few years ago from a Pulmonary Embolism. I celebrated 2021 at home and sick as a dog, but I am truly thankful that I was able to fight that horrible virus.

The Future

Obviously, we’re now over a year into it, and things are somewhat looking better. Los Angeles and Orange Counties are now in the Orange Tier, but we keep hearing about new Covid-19 variants being found. I am still skeptical about how quickly we came out of Purple and into Orange especially with the new variants being found in parts of California. Am I ready for in-class instruction? Not quite. There’s still much that needs to be done, and not everyone is vaccinated. Until then,  I remain hopeful that we’ll be out of this soon, but you’ll still find me wearing a mask, staying 6ft apart and taking my classes virtually.

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