Students’ and Faculty Daily Quarantine Schedules

Harry Knight '21, Contributor

See “In the Loop” Episode 4 for interviews with Mason and Lily!

Since the increasing threat of COVID-19, the lives of Loomis Chaffee students and faculty have been flipped upside down as our community fights to remain connected and mentally healthy. In adherence to the social distancing guidelines, both students and faculty’s schedules have drastically changed due to the school’s shift to remote learning. Despite this change in schedules and time zones, our day to day activities seem to be settling down.

Having returned to his home in South Korea, Alex Park ’21 is kept under strict quarantine regulations by the South Korean government during the first two weeks of his return.

“[The government] made me download an app at the airport that tracks my location… I also have to report… any potential symptoms I might have, twice a day,” Alex said.

With a thirteen-hour time difference between him and the eastern time zone, Alex took some time to adjust to his new schedule before finding what worked for him. The schedule change has allowed him to spend more time during the day to do what he enjoys and to keep himself mentally healthy.

“I have the luxury of waking up pretty much as late as I want. I usually get up between 9:00 [and] 10:00 a.m., play some Madden or 2K20 until 3:00 a.m., then work out in the apartment for an hour or two, then do homework until classes start at 9:30 p.m,” Alex said.

Three hours behind the eastern time zone, Mason Chang ’22 in San Francisco has the opposite school schedule, but much like Alex’s schedule, Mason’s altered class times allow him the freedom to spend the day however he likes. After classes from 5:30 to 9:20 a.m., the rest of Mason’s day is free.

“I usually finish my homework by one in the afternoon… so then I have the rest of the day to watch some Netflix [or] go out… I just feel like I have a lot more time… [but] there seems to be a lot more homework now,” Mason said.

After his classes and homework, Mason usually tries to get outside by riding on a bike ride or taking a walk while still avoiding interactions with other pedestrians.

“Recently, it’s been really nice outside, so people have been walking and…going on rides…. But you definitely see that people are keeping their distance,” Mason added.

Regardless of his increased free time, Mason is still focused on the Loomis community. “I just want to go back to school. I can’t even choose one thing, honestly. It’s a combination of friends, teachers, social life, [and] sports,” Mason said.

Back on the East Coast in Simsbury, Connecticut, day student Lily Potter ’21 enjoys her new boarding student privilege of waking up minutes before class. Without a time zone shift, Lily manages to maintain a good sleep schedule and fills her days outside of classes with home-focused activities.

“After classes and a meeting, I usually try to run outside,” Lily said. Following her runs, Lily eats peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and then checks in on her homemade kombucha.

“My kombucha is really in danger right now because I only have one SCOBY…and it has chunks of grapefruit in it,” Lily said. After her daily SCOBY—or symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast—checkup, the remainder of her day is taken up by homework, TikTok, and her goal of completing a full split by the end of April.

Outside of these activities, Lily saves time to watch leftist YouTube and catch up on Westworld. Additionally, she has been reading The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand and admits that she has become a lot more Marxist since quarantine started.

Nearby, History teacher Ms. Reem Aweida-Parsons (RAP for short) stays at home with her daughter and husband while she battles with eye strain and Zoom fatigue as she teaches her classes. Many of her classes had to be reimaged to make them more Zoom-friendly and to keep the students engaged and happy. After classes from 8:30 to 12:20 PM, RAP begins her daily routine with a nap.

“At 12:30, I usually have lunch and take a nap…and then I work on my garden,” Ms. Aweida-Parsons said.

Having only three people in the house, RAP plans to grow as many fruits and vegetables as possible so that she can share the harvest with her neighbors. To keep herself mentally sharp, she makes sure to exercise every afternoon.

“We take the dog for a walk to Westminster\; then I go…work out—I’m lifting\; watch a lot of TV with my kid at night\; read the news and freak out… and then start it again… Every day feels like no day,” Ms. Aweida-Parsons said.

RAP recognizes that even through the difficult times, Loomis has been able to keep us motivated and has managed to keep the community alive. Just like the rest of Loomis, she is hopeful about returning to campus in the fall, albeit maybe with a little more social distancing.

“It’s like life goes on. It’s giving us normalcy to a point, but in an abnormal world,” Ms. Aweida-Parsons said.