Quarantine Deja Vu

Sabrina Stroman

The past 2 years have been a rollercoaster for the world, but the bumpiest ride has most definitely been taken by students. With going back and forth between virtual to in-person school it’s difficult to grasp how much has changed. These times have been a huge blur for so many of us that it seems surreal that we are actually in school. I have found myself simply forgetting about most of the pandemic, and it’s hard to believe that I am sitting in my Japanese class writing this. It feels like we should still be virtual especially because of the discovery of new and stronger variants of COVID, yet at the same time doing just that would be the biggest detriment to my grades and mental health. And I’m positive that I would not be alone in that. I can still clearly see my days during freshman year where no one had to hide their face or fear sickness. The times where we were carefree and healthy and happy and eagerly looking forward to the future. And as we all saw, life as we knew it derailed and it still has not gotten back on track.

Going into virtual learning for the first time was a daunting and fear-inducing task. Back then we thought that this pandemic would be over within the next 2 weeks yet seeing how things played out, it almost seemed impossible to come back. However, when we finally came back it felt like we never left, ignoring the small changes like masks, the COVID screener, and temperature scanners. Perhaps it was just natural to ignore the fact that some of us hadn’t seen our friends in almost 2 years or act as normal if we simply always kept in touch. Either way, coming back the first time was scary at first and that view of the school population flooding the front doors will stay with me for a long time. But once inside it felt as though things fell in place and I felt relieved and excited to see everyone again. 

Yet then the unexpected occurred and suddenly we were back to virtual learning again. The transition wasn’t unexpected but actually going through it was still strange in a way. Going into that first full class felt like we never left the virtual world. We simply did what we already knew to do, and that felt strange. For a year and a half we lived one way and were okay with it, then we lived normally and were still fine, and back and forth we went. It wouldn’t be wrong to call this feeling deja vu and I’m sure others feel the same. However, it is interesting to think how long this feeling will remain. Perhaps it will cease if we need to go back to virtual, or maybe when the pandemic ends. Either way this feeling still sticks and although it does not feel bad, it is strange and foreign just like the rest of this new world we must live in.