Indoor life during a pandemic has been an adjustment for all. For quarantine kids there have been many sudden changes to adapt to.
One of the biggest adjustments — as you can guess — is the shift in school life. For me, classes take place over the Zoom video conference app, where my teachers check in with students and answer questions from the homework. However, since my classes don’t meet too often, I have a lot of spare hours in the day to fill once I’m done with schoolwork.
New Hobbies, Old Passions
My friends and I have been picking up new hobbies and activities. My family has been cooking quite a bit. Every other day, my sister tries a new recipe for lava cakes.
She hasn’t had a lot of success yet.
Eight-year-old Avery Tsai, a fellow New Yorker, has also been cooking a lot recently. When not doing her homework, she and her father have made several types of bread from New York Times recipes.
Aside from baking, Tsai and I have been involved in the climate justice movement for quite a while, and shifting our organizing online has been pretty successful. Tsai has been able to join Jane Fonda on Fire Drill Fridays and weekly climate teach-ins led by Fonda via Zoom.
It may seem strange with young people being so focused on their phones, but one challenge for kids in quarantine is staying in touch with friends. Aditi Anand, a 13-year-old from San Francisco, says she really misses her friends, and it’s hard to stay in contact with those who don’t often respond to their texts.
While it’s hard to keep up day-to-day communication, group FaceTime calls have personally helped me and my friends stay connected. We’ve been calling every day for a virtual lunchtime, celebrating birthdays with a Zoom party, and slowly but surely finding routine in quarantine.
Earth Day Live
Many young people were also involved with the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, and the premiere of Earth Day Live. This 72-hour livestream was held from April 22nd (Earth Day) to April 24th, hosted by climate organizations and filled with everything from performances to meditation sessions.
I was heavily involved as the communications director for the climate justice organization Zero Hour. My work for Earth Day Live was primarily focused on directing press towards the movement and keeping our social media up to date. I made sure people were tuning in to hear real discussions about what justice looks like in the climate movement.
While my friends and I are staying active with these activities, it’s still unusual spending all of my time inside. But I’m really grateful to have such a supportive family and good friends during these unpredictable times.
Natalie Sweet is a sixteen-year-old living in New York. You can learn more about her and her work with Zero Hour, in our article Four Teen Environmentalists Saving the Planet (Who Aren’t Greta Thunberg).