A New Normal by Alyssa B. Martin

It has been roughly three weeks in quarantine, many people have asked me if I am tired of living with my parents yet. 

After two years of living alone, completely moving back in with them has definitely been a shock. I’m not tired of it though; in many ways, I am thankful for this time. 

Most mornings, my dad wakes me up by pushing on my back urging me to get up and get moving. During the week, I am in my room trying to do school work most of the day, while he is in his office- directly below my room- and I am able to listen to his continuous phone conversations all day long. 

A few months ago, being woken up by my dad in these ways, or listening to him talk all day, would most likely annoy me; however, now I can’t help but breathe in gratitude every time I hear his phone ring downstairs. It is a constant reminder of how truly blessed I am to have a safe, loving home to go to during this time. 

My parents and I have found different ways to push ourselves during this uncertainty. We have started running and cooking different dishes together. Some days, after being stuck in the house all day, we take random car rides to get some fresh air.

Thursday, March 26th
Brad Martin driving through Flowery Branch, GA

I haven’t felt creative enough to paint anything in many years. Part of this lies with allowing people to control my mind and emotions, and the other part is due to the stress of college life weighing heavy on my shoulders. Many times this last week, I found myself taking to my little desk in my room creating more than I have in years. 

Friday, March 27th 
The desk I sat at for many hours last week, creating and working.

My life may not be going how I thought it would be at this point in my senior year, but I am thankful for the time I have had with my parents. Each day I try to remind myself to live for these moments and find something good in every situation.

A compilation video of the week in my life.

We are living in such odd times of history.

In a blink of an eye, I went from a resident assistant, living alone and watching after 30 freshmen, to living with my parents again. It is strange to me how quickly life changed.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

I keep thinking about how this will be written in history books twenty years from now and what the outcome of this time may be. I can’t help but wonder if there is more we could be doing right now rather than just sitting at home, washing our hands religiously and praying this takes as few
lives as possible.

Could we have contained this more if China told the rest of the world a few months sooner like Trump said the other day in his press conference?

Is social distancing really going to matter in the grand scheme of all of this?

I have so many unanswered questions about this time, and part of me fears the future state of when they are all answered. The other part of me hopes we are all better off in a way than before. Only time will tell.

My parents and I have been in quarantine for nearly two weeks now. My dad got sick first, then me, and then my mom. We aren’t sure what sickness we all had, but we are hopeful, and pretty certain, that it was not Covid-19, nonetheless being sick during these times is still slightly frightening. Every time I have coughed or complained about not feeling well the past few weeks, my mom has been googling my symptoms or taking my temperature to make sure they aren’t Covid-19 symptoms (I’m not kidding, lol).

Every morning I wake up to the sound of my dad working downstairs; his office is right below my bedroom, and the air ducts allow me to hear his conversations. I fix breakfast, drink some coffee and watch tv with my mom. One day mom and I spent about eight hours working on a puzzle; it
made us want to rip our hair out, but it was a nice change from having the tv on all day.

Rainy days, puzzle days
Tuesday, March 24th / Flowery Branch, GA

We started working in the garden last week spreading pine straw. Despite being sick, we got quite a bit done, until my mom made me stop because I was overdoing it. I’ve also discovered a new talent since we have been stuck in the house: darts. I am rather good at it; last week I had an eight game winning streak against my mom and dad. It got to where neither of them wanted to play me.

It is rather nice, though, being with my parents under the same roof. We play more games and talk more than we did before, and we genuinely want to be around each other. Even though we are slightly going crazy, and I want to spend time with some of my friends, I am thankful for this quarantine time because it gave me my family back. My heart hasn’t been this full for quite some time.

Meet the Storyteller

Alyssa B. Martin

Alyssa B. Martin is a Senior at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga pursuing a degree in Communication with a Minor in Spanish. She is the Social Media and Distribution Manager for the University Echo, and she has also interned at the Trenton Daily News / Dade County Progress as a journalist. Martin is most passionate about people and giving a voice to those who may not have one through journalism. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with loved ones, reading, playing the guitar, writing, taking photos and working puzzles. 

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