Finding Blessings Despite the Pandemic

Original story posted on: May 15, 2020

EDITOR’S NOTE: Zander Brant is the nephew of Chuck Buck, RACmonitor publisher and program host/executive producer of Monitor Mondays.

My name is Zander Brant, and I am an 18-year-old senior at Francis Parker School in San Diego. I have committed to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a major in Environmental Earth & Soil Sciences. I played on the Francis Parker Boys’ Golf Team since my freshman year, for both JV and varsity teams.

My interests include cinematography, hiking, nature, 80s music, and spending time with family and friends.

To be completely honest, quarantine has been a blast. Coronavirus hit San Diego at a perfect time – right when my spring break was about to end. When I heard the news that my vacation wasn’t just being extended by a week, but that we were also transitioning into online classes, I was ecstatic. I was getting tired of working so hard at a college-preparatory private school, and my senioritis was kicking in, full-fledged.

Finally – I thought to myself – with less schoolwork, I’ll have more time to watch movies, kick back, and relax. My predictions turned out to be true, and I’ve been cruising through this quarantine for the past seven weeks with no mess and zero stress. Christmas didn’t come early, but summer sure did. Okay, it’s not like I haven’t been doing anything school-related while in self-isolation. As I said, my high school transitioned to a virtual setup, where I have to log into and attend each of my classes twice a week through Google Meet. My teachers reduced the amount of their usual homework by half, and I still have to complete my senior capstone, among a few other major assignments. All in all, it’s been a pretty easy-going and not-too-arduous a process.

I do have to admit that I’m bummed about missing out on some of the classic senior experiences, such as my prom and graduation. However, this doesn’t compare to my disappointment of missing Disneyland Night, when senior classes from a variety of schools basically have the park to themselves. I lost out on the opportunity to finish my season on varsity golf, too, but I ended up having an online recognition for my years on the team. Although the coronavirus didn’t affect my college decision, it still took away my option to have a last-minute tour of my top college of choice.

There have been some blessings in disguise due to this pandemic. The usual AP exams that students take to earn college course credits got moved digitally and became 50 minutes, instead of the original three hours, which is a plus. Also, I am able to spend more time with my family before I go away to college.

I am very grateful to have such a close family, so I’m not experiencing any loneliness or cabin fever from quarantining. We’ve been going out on walks together in our nearby park almost every day to stretch our legs and get that much-needed Vitamin D, which I enjoy quite a lot. I’ve been watching many movies and television series with my family that I’ve been meaning to see for a while. My parents are self-employed and are able to work from home, so the family finances remain the same, and there’s no anxiety on that end.

Although I’ve been very fortunate to have such a great quarantine experience, I empathize with everyone who is being financially, physically, and emotionally affected by COVID-19.

Zander Brant

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