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Technology not so much to the rescue

How extroverts are dealing with the COVID-19 shelter-in-place

O n March 30, state officials announced that the shelter-in-place orders for California would be extended to at least May 1 due to the spread of COVID-19. This would mean that all Californians, who had already been following the orders for two weeks, would need to figure out how to spend 24 hours a day at home for another four weeks. 

For introverts, staying at home for the whole day is something that some of them may already be accustomed to. For extroverts like myself, this period is a complete adjustment to our everyday lives. 

According to the infamous 16personalities test, I am 94% extroverted. In the weeks leading up to the shelter-in-place orders, I did my best to be as social as possible, somewhat expecting the eventual lockdown. I made sure to play basketball with my friends, go on late night pizookie and boba runs and go out during school lunches. Since I am a second semester senior and don’t  have any major assignments, I would go to the library for a few hours after school, and then go on excursions with my friends, only reaching home at around 8 or 9 p.m.

Immediately after the announcements came in I thought I would be satisfied with the amount of social time I got with my friends leading up to the shelter-in-place. Yet only a few days later, I began desiring more social time and now, 22 days into the shelter-in-place, I am getting increasingly closer to losing my mind.  

However, when there’s a problem in our modern society, there’s usually a go-to solution — technology. Zoom, the video meeting service which was recently made free to all students, has been increasingly used by students to talk to their friends. Netflix, Hulu and Disney Plus have provided students with hundreds of shows and movies to binge-watch during these boring hours. TikTok has given students short videos to watch on their phones as they try to fall asleep. Video games give students something to “grind,” which for MVHS students would normally be homework, until the next morning. 

Still, with all forms of entertainment provided by technology, there is still one thing it cannot bring us — real-life experiences. Technology cannot recreate going to my friends’ houses and picking all of them up before going out. It cannot recreate a spontaneous trip to San Francisco. It cannot recreate the inside jokes or memorable moments that would be made through these experiences. It cannot recreate the amount of adrenaline my friends and I have while playing a game of pickup basketball when one team only needs a three pointer to end the game.

So, with all the things that we can’t do as extroverts, what can we do in these confusing times?

For starters, most of us are not completely alone at home — we have family members with whom we can spend a lot of our time with. Some of the experiences we would have with our friends, like playing Mario Kart on the Wii, is something that we could do with our siblings or parents. Even though our parents may seem somewhat old for video games, surprisingly, a lot of them do enjoy it.  

And, while our parents or siblings are doing their own work, we can channel our boundless energy to put some time onto ourselves and build our own passions. We can revisit some old hobbies we had, like learning how to play an instrument or painting. We can even create new hobbies with the materials we have at home; personally, I have been starting to learn yoga and cook.

The last thing we should do as extroverts is let this time get the best of us or complain and  whine about the things that we cannot do. Even though it may feel entirely boring and unproductive, these social distancing and shelter-in-place orders are completely necessary. In order to stop the further spread of COVID-19, both extroverts and introverts need to do their part in trying to make sure that we can get back to our normal lives as quickly as possible. 

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