Written April 14, 2020

Since I last wrote, school was cancelled for the rest of the year. I had my last day of high school without knowing it. This is both strange and sad to me.

After closing, I learned that all Michigan schools needed to make plans for the continued learning of their students. We have received emails from our teachers at Front Street Writers telling us that they are coming up with a plan for the rest of the year. They also sent us a survey about what we would like to learn more about it our last month, including whether we would rather continue journalism or fiction.

This made me wonder how journalism would work if we were unable to actually meet with anyone in person or go to a public place. I wonder also how our journalism topic—identity and mental health among teens—could tie into the coronavirus pandemic. How does isolation or fear of becoming sick affect teens with different mental health problems? If we continue our journalism unit, I would like to look into this.

Our teachers have also been giving us optional, daily writing prompts via a google doc shared with our class. We almost always began our class periods with a prompt to respond to, so we are continuing that over the internet.

I am still keeping a journal while we are in quarantine. I am motivated by the thrilling image of finding it years from now and re-living what it was like to live through a pandemic. Truthfully, I’ve found it harder to write about my thoughts on the pandemic than about the basic things I’ve done that day.

My greatest fear during isolation is that I will stop feeling like the outside world exists at all. This may sound extreme, but living in the middle of the woods, not technically even in a town, it’s not like I can look out my window and be reassured that everyone else is still there, just quarantined like I am. Living near no one has its perks: I can walk for several miles without the worry of running into someone else, but it also makes me worry that I will lose touch with reality in a sense. I have been keeping myself updated on the news and staying in touch with my friends as much as I can so I don’t feel like everything has vanished.

Despite not yet having a plan for what we will do for Front Street Writers for the rest of the year, our class has been staying in touch (don’t worry, not literally) over Snapchat, much like we did before. I’ve made many friends in this class, so it helps to not lose so much of the time that I would have spent with them.

Being unable to communicate in person or leave my home has caused me to depend on the Internet for almost everything, which is a problem since it stops working sometimes, including yesterday. It makes me realize how much we rely on the Internet, especially now, when nearly everything is done virtually online. Let’s hope it doesn’t completely crash. I would be cut off from everyone even more than I already am, with no information able to reach me.

My sister and I have gone to the library parking lot in our town twice now to use the Wi-Fi. Driving into town, nothing seems particularly different. There are still other cars, though not as many. I saw someone outside getting gas at the gas station. But everything seems quieter. Like life isn’t moving so much. I suppose that’s better than feeling the panic of being somewhere where many people are infected.

I’m not sure yet what we will be doing for the rest of the year in Front Street Writers. The school year will end on May 15, about a week before it originally would, for seniors. They will tell us the plan soon, and I will update you then. In the meantime, stay safe and healthy, keep writing, and stay tuned for my next post!

—Erin Evans