Here are some of the things the Atlanta Muslim team is doing to stay uplifted during this time.
Aynur: For the past two weeks, my family and I have been practicing “self-quarantining” during the COVID-19 pandemic that has been going around. I only go out if it is necessary or to go on a walk around my neighborhood. Even then, I have to practice social distancing guidelines. Although I miss seeing my friends, I feel the longer that we are ALL away from each other, the faster our world can heal from this. My dad operates and works at his barbershop and it is my family’s only source of income. In these tough times, it is hard to stay positive with my dad closing his business down temporarily for the pandemic, but my family has been trying to keep things fun around the house.
The easiest thing we do is have family movie nights or just play a board game in the living room. Sometimes, that gets boring pretty quickly so each of us picks a day to make dinner or dessert to surprise the rest of the family and help out my mom. When I am not spending time with my family, my friends and I facetime or “Netflix party” where we watch the same movie at the same time to replicate what we used to do when we hung out. We have watched so many movies so far and we plan on watching one tonight as well. To have a laugh, my friends and I also put on our prom dresses and had our “prom” over facetime the other night to compensate. Although it is not how I expected or wanted to spend the remainder of my senior year of high school, talking to and making an effort to still have fun with the people you love makes such hard times better.
Maha: While it has been difficult to stay positive and constantly look at the bright side during this pandemic that has resulted in everyone having to be quarantined at home, I make up for the things that I have missed out on by keeping myself busy. The first week, I usually kept myself busy with entertainment, watching Netflix and being on my phone, keeping in touch with friends. The following week, I started to do more homework and keep up with my studies. There were things that I could have been doing and enjoying if we weren’t quarantined, but I made up for that by focusing on my studies and spending time with my family.
Now that my family is home more often, we have lunch together every day, which we usually only did on the weekends. We are also able to pray together every day as opposed to praying on our own because of our differing schedules. Spending time with family helps me stay positive because I know that I’m not alone during this time and I can have fun with my family more often. I’ve also been able to have more time to myself due to not being at work or at school, which has allowed me to pick up exercising as a healthy habit. Although we are unsure of how long we will be in this situation, we can do our best to keep ourselves busy.
Yusra: As we go into our third week of “teleschool” since schools shut down as a result of COVID19, I’m beginning to get the hang of a routine I’ve established for myself that balances education and a combination of activities I’d either been putting off, or simply hadn’t had time for. I’ll admit, for the first few days, it’d been easy to accept sitting around and scrolling through Instagram as a pass-time. I’d quickly begun missing the familiar faces I’d see on a day-to-day basis, though, and changed things up a bit by taking part in group facetime calls with my friends to simply share our thoughts on the rapidly-changing world around us or reflect on our day’s activities. Keeping in touch with them on a daily basis has actually played a significant role in maintaining a small but important sense of normality in my everyday routine.
I’ve also been incredibly grateful for the time I’ve been able to spend with my family, from binge-watching childhood shows with my brothers to ping-pong tournaments to “cook-along” via Zoom with extended family, I’ve realized we’ve all become a more vital part of each other’s daily comfort. In the time I spend alone, I’ve been to journal as much as I’d like to, paint, and read- all things I’d try to fit into the breaks we’d have during the school year. Though this certainly isn’t how I’d hoped the rest of my Senior year would play out, like many others, this time has been an opportunity to step back and reevaluate how I’d been spending my time before all of this began, and one that’s allowed me to appreciate everyone’s efforts to truly feet united in a time when we must stay 6 ft apart.
Samiah: I remember working my last shift at work and going to my last in-school class, not thinking we would be in a situation like this. Although it's an unusual circumstance, I like to have a positive outlook and make the most of my time, along with my friends and family. Thankfully, my parents were able to work from home, so everyone in my family is home. With a family of 7, there is not a second of silence. My mom has a lot of phone conferences, and you can hear little children screaming in the background, it's amusing to see how the circumstances have changed. As a family, we play Monopoly and Uno, which makes it sound like a warzone within our household-everyone being so competitive. We watch Bollywood movies, my mom and I make fresh, homemade face masks, and I’ve started to look into different dinner recipes. I’ve made a lot of unique food combinations with what’s in our pantry, I’ve found a new love for cooking in the past couple of weeks.
Me and my brother like to binge Buzzfeed Unsolved and we find different ways to keep my little sister entertained, from playing dress-up to doing Frozen Karaoke. As for my friends, I miss seeing them every day, but we’ve found different ways to keep in touch. We group FaceTime while doing our assignments, chores, and really just anything, just to have company. We also use Rave, an app to screen share Netflix/Youtube, and watch different things on there. My friend and I are both learning guitar together, so we video call and learn different melodies!Being someone who likes her alone time, I’ve also taken the time to learn things and do activities on my own. I emptied out my closet and upcycled a lot of my older clothes, sewing phrases onto my denim jacket and painting my jeans. I’ve done a lot of reading, I reread all of the Percy Jackson books, which was my favorite series in elementary school. I like to take long walks outside, taking in the peacefulness of nature, it's something that's become my favorite thing to do in stressful times. This time is a very abrupt halt to our lives, but one that makes us appreciate the beauty in simplicity, we should take the time to enjoy little things without hectic, strict schedules to follow-go with the flow, stay safe and stay happy!
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