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Audio Diary: Social Distancing When You're In High School

A student holding a mobile recorder and wearing headphones
Janelle Olisea
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High school junior Janelle Olisea recording an audio diary for KUNR during the pandemic.

The local high school students in KUNR's Youth Media program have been at home for several weeks now as all schools are closed and they are plugging away on their distance learning assignments. One of those students, Janelle Olisea, recorded an "audio diary" to share her experience being stuck in the house for so long. Here's her story.

The last time I was out was March 13th, which was the Friday before spring break started, and my friends and I were joking when we were out at Starbucks. We were like “You know, what if we don’t see each other for another month?” Life has a sense of humor because, clearly, that joke became a reality. But that was the real [last] time I was out for anything that wasn’t essential, and since then I’ve only been out probably [a] max of five times, and those were all for grocery shopping.

I try to stay at home as much as possible because I want to protect my family. I live with my grandma and my parents, and obviously older people are more susceptible to the virus and I just want to keep them safe. It’s a scary time; it’s a scary time.

Being stuck at home has really made me appreciate all the moments that, I guess, I took for granted before. You know, we can complain [about] how much school work we have. We can complain about having to get up early for school. We can complain about every single aspect of our life but I guess quarantine has really made me appreciate the things that I really took for granted because I miss being outside. I even miss getting up early to get ready for school. That’s crazy. I miss hugging my friends. I miss being able to see them every day. I miss making plans on the weekends with them. I miss...I just miss everything about what life was like before this all happened and I guess being stuck at home has really opened my eyes to how carelessly we can take things for granted sometimes.

I really hope that after quarantine, I can fully appreciate every single hug, every single handshake, being able to go outside and not wear a mask and gloves. I really hope that out of quarantine, it really impacts me in a positive light and I’m a better person because of it.

KUNR's Youth Media program is a special partnership with the Washoe County School District to train the next generation of journalists. 

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