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Quarantine Social Life-Grant Rotbart

Quarantine was not that bad. Obviously it wasn’t anything compared to life now, but I would passionately argue against a sentiment saying it was dreadful, and there are even some aspects of it that I sometimes find myself wanting. 

As illogical as it might seem, I do sometimes find myself missing quarantine. Sure, not the experience as a whole, and of course I’m glad we’re out of quarantine and we now have so many more opportunities, but there are aspects of that period that I do occasionally crave. As fun as it is to go around and have the freedom to talk to everyone, the current social scene with having so many people around can often be overwhelming for me. During Bidud, we even resorted to sticking our heads out of our windows to talk to other capsules, and now there’s so many people around that I sometimes want to be alone. I see some value and comfort in basically only having six people to talk to. With fewer options, there are fewer decisions to make, which can relieve a lot of stress for me. As boring as those seven days were, I now feel like I need more of nothing going on.

During quarantine we were allowed a few hours per day to go outside with only our capsule to move around and get some fresh air. I find it funny how we were dying for that outside time, constantly asking when our next period was and, one time, basically forcing ourselves to be in the heat in order to make the most of our time, and now we often rush to our dorms and spend our free time inside there. Both the situations of socializing and being outside remind me that you do really always want what you can’t have.

A bonus is that nighttimes were really fun too. We didn’t have a lot going on during the days, so there wasn’t much reason to go to bed early. I definitely miss just staying up and talking with friends in bed.

Also, the tension of being stuck in our pods only made the release more worth it. It was that much more exciting when we got out of quarantine and could talk to everybody normally, since we hadn’t had that type of interaction for so long. Our Shabbat dinner during quarantine was so much more momentous than it otherwise would have been; just to see everybody in one place for the first time was amazing in and of itself.

Making the best of quarantine really only came after it. I don’t think an AMHSI Bidud should be seen as a bad experience, just a different one. I even think it should be seen as more than just one of the things we had to do in order to live normally, because, looking back, it was actually pretty nice.

Grant Rotbart