The Gray Area: Ending 2020 With a Quarantine


Blake Catlett

TOPPING 2020 OFF WITH THE CORONAVIRUS — Senior Columnist Grayson Catlett sits in his bed with a face covering on.

Grayson Catlett, Columnist

The holiday season has arrived, giving everyone happiness and gifts to finish an unorthodox year. My family was making plans to visit relatives in Georgia for our Christmas, and everything seemed to be turning out well. Despite all of that, our holidays found us sitting at home dealing with the epitome of 2020’s unusual and dismal nature: COVID-19.

I was about to leave the house when my mother noted that she was feeling sick. I initially dismissed it as something else, but my mind slowly started to realize that it could be the deadly virus that launched the nationwide pandemic in March. With that in mind, I left to go to work, my last shift before my job closed for the holidays.

On my way there, my mother called me and insisted that I return home, adding that we were to be in quarantine until her results were returned on the following evening. Quickly, I called my boss to explain, turned around, and headed home.

We all held optimism that my mother’s illness wasn’t COVID-19, especially as our holiday plans were about to begin the day after her test results were revealed. However, on the afternoon of December 22, a positive result was given.

“I just couldn’t believe it,” Susan Catlett said about her reaction. “I just thought I had a common cold. I didn’t think I would have COVID-19.”

My brother (and Editor-in-Chief) Blake Catlett was less surprised about the results. “I knew it was going to happen eventually,” he mentioned.

In the midst of the most travel-heavy time of year, we were all put on quarantine until January 1, right after the parties had melted away, the ball had dropped, and the dread of the upcoming second semester finally took hold.

I was afraid that our quarantine would arrive at an inopportune time for us, and the holiday break could not have been more of an ill-timed moment. I also feared for the health of my family; I was sure my brother and I could best the virus basically unscathed, but I wasn’t so sure for my parents. This began the ten days of our quarantine.

At its worst, the virus gave me coughing fits, a lack of taste that outlasted the sickness itself, and a mental fog that shrouded my brain in laziness and distraction. Aiding that fog was the general lack of productivity that came with staying inside during a school break, as there was nothing for me to accomplish in the meantime.

Blake’s sickness was also tough to deal with. “I felt like I had the cold and the flu at the same time, while also recovering from a long work shift,” he said about his time with the virus.

“I had bad headaches, and I was always tired and fatigued,” Susan described her symptoms. She did state that she never felt a loss of motivation during her sickness.

Despite my family’s relatively mild reaction to the virus, I still want to maintain responsibility during the pandemic by keeping an ear out for the ever-evolving information regarding the virus. Many other families, whether by loss of employment or loss of a loved one, have had a much harder time grappling with COVID-19, and every step needs to be taken in order to curb the spread.¬†Updated information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) can be found here.

I hope that all Central students can have a safe, COVID and stress-free second semester, especially my fellow seniors.