QUARANTINE TIMES: MAKING UP FOR LOST TIMES
Updated: Aug 6
Like the rest of the Class of 2020, I never could have imagined that my final days as an Allegheny student would be spent quarantined at home in the midst of a global pandemic.
I expected to enjoy Springfest, Senior Week, and all the other traditions that make the end of an Allegheny career so fun.
More than anything, I was looking forward to spending my last six weeks as an undergraduate brother of Delta Tau Delta by hanging out with the guys who have defined my time at Allegheny and made it so memorable. It hurts the most that my time living at 607 Highland Ave. with my best friends was cut short, and I know many feel the same sense of unfairness and disappointment that I do right now.
Delta Tau Delta brothers at Allegheny (2020)
Nevertheless, I have plenty of blessings to count. A silver lining to this crisis has been newfound time to be spent with family (although that comes with a social distance of at least six feet for those family members living outside of my household). I’m especially close with my grandparents, and they’ve always held a special place in my life. I spend a great deal of time with them during every break from school, but that pales in comparison to the time that I wasn’t able to spend with them while I was away at school.
Thankfully they’re doing well, but I recognize that they’re not getting any younger. Therefore, I take advantage of opportunities to be with them as much as I can. As has become obvious, coronavirus has resulted in isolating people. Out of an abundance of caution, I haven’t been able to visit them at home like I normally would. This is certainly depressing for them, as they’re used to frequent visits from me and other members of my family.
However, like many people around our country and the world, we’ve come up with creative ways of dealing with the circumstances that the virus has created. On many sunny days that have occurred during the quarantine, I’ve taken a lawn chair and sat in their yard while they did the same on their back porch. Although we’re now separated by some physical distance, we still enjoy our weekly visits. Sometimes my grandparents tell stories and reminisce about the past, and other times we just chat about current events. No matter the topic or occasion, going to see them is always a special event.
Spending time with my grandparents offers me a great deal of perspective. My grandfather is 88 years old while my grandmother is 87, and they both grew up in Pittsburgh at the height of the Great Depression. They were young teenagers during the Second World War, and came of age during a time of great social change. I learn so much from being around them, and they constantly remind my sister and I that we make their days brighter and happier. Their impact on my life has been immeasurable, and I encourage everyone who is blessed to have their grandparents or similar relatives to enjoy their presence as much as possible.
Even if you can’t see your loved ones in-person for a variety of reasons, all it takes is a phone call to make their day. It’s more important than ever to check in with elderly relatives (or neighbors) who may be feeling alone during a time like this. Our time with them is precious, and many of them have contributed so much so that we can live the lives we do today. They deserve gratitude and respect, and there is no time more important to show it to them than now.
~~ John Fazio (Class of 2020)
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