samson wrote the below for a composition exercise for school in november. he's ten years old and in fifth grade. i've pasted the photos and drawings and text as they appeared in his paper. he created the drawings and chose the photos.
the exercise was to describe what his life was like now versus what it was before the pandemic--as well as a few other guidelines. i hope you enjoy it.
Q u a r a n t i n e L i f e
Today I woke up and practiced piano. On a normal day, before coronavirus, I would get up and practice piano. Then I ate breakfast. Usually, I would eat breakfast and then go to school. Today I just went outside and played pickleball in my driveway. My mom says I have to get exercise, but I used to get exercise in the morning at school. I really want to go back to school. Then I would get to see my friends. At least now I don’t have to drive anywhere to go to school. But, doing school work from home is a lot more boring without my friends. I want a pet I can play with, but hamsters aren’t very sociable. I really wish I had someone to play with right now, like a dog or a sibling. My Uncle Zum was here for a few months, and he played with me quite a bit when he could, but he had to leave to take care of his mother. I wish he stayed longer because we could do a physical activity in the morning and then again in the afternoon after lunch.
Fifth grade would be hard enough without doing school work from home. I wish I could go to school with the rest of the 5th graders. I hope my school is doing okay right now, because someone tested positive for coronavirus there a few weeks ago. Not many people would know who tested positive except for the people in the person who tested positive’s class. The staff at our school won’t say who tested positive for privacy reasons.
I don’t like living like this because I cannot see any of my friends. The summer was boring because I couldn’t play with anyone, and summer vacation is always fun because you and your friends are out of school. Sometimes I went to my friend August’s pool and socially distanced by dividing the pool in half with a string.
Some good things have happened because of the pandemic. I have gotten to spend more time with my family and I have gotten more play time. We have also come up with a new system for who gets to decide what we do as a family in the evening, including games and movies. The system is really simple. One night it’s my mom’s decision, then my dad’s, then mine. It goes in alphabetical order by name. I think we should keep doing that after the pandemic.
On Saturday me and my dad go to his friend’s private tennis court and play there for an hour or two. Most of the time August and his dad come, and sometimes my dad’s friend comes out and plays, too. Usually my dad plays with the other adults on Wednesday nights well, because August and I don’t want to do it twice a week, and it’s a weekday. I think this tennis system is cool and I think we should keep doing it after the pandemic, too.
One thing I have improved is my texting/typing skills. I have been texting a lot of my friends. We also call through FaceTime and play video games, too. I have also improved my piano skills. I have recently raised my required practice time from 30 to 45 minutes. The reason I did this is because my mom said if I practiced 45 minutes I wouldn’t have to practice on Sunday. Usually I still would’ve said, “No, I’ll stay with 30,” but we have also recently made a new rule of how I can get extra video game time. For every extra minute of piano practice I do, I get one more minute of video game time. So when it’s Sunday, any practice I do is automatically extra because it’s not required on Sunday. During the pandemic my parents put a time limit on my iPad. The program automatically stops the game when it’s time. It also gives me a warning when I have five minutes left. When I do extra piano, my mom goes into the settings and adds the time.
When the pandemic ends I think it will take people a while to get back into their normal system. I think people should continue wearing masks for about a month after we get a vaccine because it takes two weeks for symptoms to show, so someone could have it without knowing that they have it. Then they would think it would be safe and go out and infect other people and start another pandemic. People have gotten more cautious with this whole global pandemic thing. I hope it stays that way, because being a little too careful isn’t bad. I think people will be more cautious in general once this whole thing blows over. I also hope people will be more careful about what wild animals they eat. The world will definitely be changed after this. That may or may not be good.