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The Antelope

Enjoying family time in time of crisis

blake bubak


What started as a roommate bringing home Family Fresh bags full of non-perishable food items turned into a call home for advice. 

Martial law? National Guard patrolling the streets? Looting? Rationed goods? The possibilities resulting from the paranoia were endless. As my roommate began to pack an emergency bag, it led me to think. If this thing were to get really bad, I’d much rather be home around family than in Kearney. Nothing against the town or my friends there, but it seemed like the best idea.

The things mentioned above seem very unlikely, but at this point, news seems like ‘he said, she said,’ and nobody really knows. Cities are beginning to go into full lockdown with people being ordered to stay in their homes. 

My mindset at this point is along the lines of ‘better safe than sorry.’ While my initial plan included heading for Columbus on March 20, I decided to pack a bag and leave two days early. With classes being online, there wasn’t really anything holding me back. If I was going to isolate, I was going to do it around family. I made sure to stock up on toilet paper for both my mother and father’s houses before leaving town. Yes, I was that guy.

The unanticipated spread of this pandemic has caused me to carry myself with a certain level of caution. I had a friend in town that asked me to go to the local pub the other night. I asked him if that was really wise. He agreed that it wasn’t, and we settled for Moscow Mules in the comfort of his basement.

It’s those little things that I don’t mind. It’s only been two days, and I only leave the house when I need to. I’ve gotten the chance to spend quality time with my family. I enjoyed my mom’s delicious spaghetti the other night, caught up with my siblings and even accomplished a satisfying workout in my dad’s makeshift weight room. These are all things I wouldn’t have been able to experience if I was isolated in Kearney.

Aside from the importance of washing hands, I think the most valuable lesson that I’ve learned throughout this ordeal is appreciation. Appreciation for life. Appreciation for interaction. Appreciation for those around me. 

As a college kid, I’m not around loads of people in a bar anymore. I get to catch up with a few close friends here and there, and I’m okay with that. I get to see how my father ensures that my 8-year-old sister is practicing school related work throughout the day. I get to catch up with my step-mom and hear about how her patients are dealing with the situation in their nursing home. I get to room with my mom in her cute house and listen to her talk about her favorite Netflix shows. 

All these things that I don’t get to experience often when I’m away. And when I do come back, I’m usually busy running around with my buddies, catching up on old times. It’s just not that often that I get to stay here for an extended period of time, and I’m content with that.

As much as I am worried about this current pandemic, at the end of the day there’s nothing that I can really do besides take care of myself and enjoy time with the people around me. There is only a certain number of things that we as people can control and putting a stop to the coronavirus is not one of them. That is something that will iron itself out and run its course. For now, the important thing for me is to live in the moment and appreciate what’s around me.

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