We didn't realize what we had until Corona hit.

Updated: Mar 23, 2020

Why do we miss the outdoors, now that we are being ordered to stay indoors? What is the true impact of self-isolating and social distancing? Where and how can we take advantage of opportunities that we had not previously seen.

This past week has rollercoaster for me, as I'm sure has been the case for many of you. Understandably but chaotically nonetheless, my university along with others across the nation told everyone who lived on campus (who did not have a valid reason why they could not return home given some assistance) to pack their bags and return home.

Not even two days after I returned home to NYC, Governor Cuomo ordered everyone that is not an essential worker to stay home. While the idea of seeing my beloved NYC barren and lifeless was a bit of a shock to me, I didn't really think that what was being asked of the public, especially my age demographic, was truly that bad. I really didn't think it was too much to ask to stay home for a few days for the public good, and most people I knew enjoyed staying home. In fact, staying inside to "Netflix and chill" over enjoying the outdoors has been a stereotype that is often associated with my generation.

Apparently, I stand corrected.

Ever since the recent calls for social distancing came to light, I have seen more news stories and social media post from people my age about "not letting COVID-19 stop us" and "people blowing it way out of proportion" and "corona ruining spring break."

This backlash that I have seen about the notion of having to stay indoors has reveal something very interesting to me, something that I (ironically) took for granted until now:

You never know what you've got until it is gone.

I know, it's a cliché. But it's honestly applies in this situation. I remember all the times that I would roll my eyes and go back to my coding and other projects when my parents would tell me to go outside on a sunny day and play with the other neighborhood kids. During college, I avoided going outside for fear or bug bites. Now a days, I long to sit outside in the sun and swat off a fly or two - but I resist the urge in fear of catching the virus and then endangering myself and the people that I love.

So I, like many of you, are confined to the constraint of our homes. What now?

As I enter another day of #SocialDistancing, I think about the opportunities that I have to refocus on my priorities and goals in ways that the noise of a college campus would not allow me to focus on, like my academics now that I have online classes, and taking care of my mental and physical health, and catching up on my passion and extracurricular projects. I even went on my social media accounts and watched TV for the first time in a while.

I'm sure a few more weeks in, I'll feel more exhausted by this new "normal" and I'll be waiting for the day that it's safe to see my friends in person and connect with others in person again. But for now, I for one, have decided to embrace this normal, and take control of my daily routine form the comfort of my home.

What does your new normal look like?