The bright side of the quarantine 

Rahnya Moubayed studying (top), Berna Marquez starting her jewelry business (right) and Luis Bustos producing music (bottom) during the quarantine. Arturo Flores/Lariat

This year has seen many challenges, obstacles and changes worldwide due to the global pandemic and the quarantine put in place to keep everyone as safe as possible. While the year has had more downsides than upsides, it’s also important to think about the benefits and the good things that came out of the current quarantine. Families and people have found ways to get closer, former students go back to school and now appreciate the things they took for granted. 

While quarantine has made school and taking classes a bit more of a challenge with the shift into fully online classes, this hasn’t stopped many students from attending. It has even made more people apply for classes and even reapply with their newfound free time to work toward something that they originally didn’t have time for. For some people, being in quarantine and having less work has given some people the push they need to go back to school and knock out a few classes that could provide them more educational benefits in the future. 

“Why not?” said mother and elementary school tutor Faten Moubayed previously. “We will be under these stay at home rules for the time being and because of that I have more time on my hands, it gives me a good opportunity to relearn a few things that could maybe help with my job or further my career.” 

During times like these, things will obviously be difficult, but as Moubayed said, she wants to make sure she doesn’t look back at this as time wasted. When it ends, people shouldn’t feel like the time was lost. Whether it is building that portfolio for future jobs, finishing those classes or learning new skills that put that cherry on top of that resume, this is the time for people to take advantage of these opportunities. 

“Yeah, it was pretty much like a switch for me,” said Luis Bustos, local music producer and Saddleback College student. “I took a pause for the summer at Saddleback, but I didn’t want to just work and that’s it. I filled pretty much all of my free time practicing and making music, learning new tools and programs and literally trying to make at least three beats a day and I finally got back into my groove after months of not touching music.” 

Being in quarantine, however, isn’t only the best time to get things done and working towards bigger goals, it’s also a time to take a step back and focus on personal mental health. It’s no question that staying home all day every day will take a toll on most people due to the lack of activity and social interaction that comes with the confinement of quarantine. The first few months were rough, yet people have found ways to take this time at home to improve and get healthier, both mentally and physically. 

“It was rough not being able to see my friends,” said Monse Marquez, a high school student from Aliso Viejo High School. “Not really having things to do, and all that, it’s hard for me to stay at home. I’ve always been an outside person, but family and friends made me realize that it can always be worse.”

Marquez found himself working out, journaling and finding little hobbies he could do from the comfort of his home. The peaceful time allowed him to come to appreciate more things in his life. It’s important to take a second and think about the bright side of every situation, not everything is all bad. 

Terrible things have happened this year and it’s not about what has happened but what we do with the situation, how we react and how we bounce back from these types of situations and through that find new opportunities.