My Covid-19 Experience: CM

My Covid-19 experience started out just like everyone else’s at UW-Milwaukee—Spring break that turned into a lockdown we thought would last two weeks. I went home to visit my parents and ended up staying a month instead of a weekend longing for my apartment, my friends, and my life. I began to feel lost in a sad sluggish cycle somewhat like how I felt living in my small town in high school. I still managed to facetime my friends every single day and play virtual uno and laugh at Twitter memes, but most days I did this while not having left my bed. Finally, after sulking in a month I took matters in my own hands and told my parents I’ll be going back to my apartment in Milwaukee to be on lockdown there with my roommate, who was feeling equally as lonely. During much of the Coronavirus pandemic I lived on Brady Street one of the busiest and liveliest streets in Milwaukee filled with bars, restaurants, cafés, and shops. It felt extremely eerie to see it empty for months with only masked faced walk by occasionally, when prior to the lockdown it was constant action and commotion. Some people during the lockdown took on a new hobby such as working out, doing nails or hair, learning a language, etc. I, however, struggled to do this leaving me with a sense of purposelessness. 

Deeper into lockdown, however, for the months of May-September, Black Lives Matter protests marched past my house almost every day. Each time, I would be sitting in my living room and I would start to hear distant chanting and cars getting louder and louder. Most times I would grab my mask, my BLM sign, and sometimes grab my roommate and join them. Most times any one of my friends would facetime me and they would be at a protest too, all in different cities—Madison, San Diego, Chicago, and Minneapolis. Although the new highlighting social and racial injustice was exhausting and heartbreaking, protesting with my friends brought value and meaning to my life during the Covid-19 pandemic. I’ve always been passionate about social justice and social issues regarding racial, gender, and class inequality. Protesting the injustices to Black individuals and for the safety of my Black loved ones, neighbors, fellow students, and all Black lives allowed me to actively support my Black loved ones at a time when they most needed support when I couldn’t physically be there. It finally gave me a sense of purpose and reminded me where I get my energy from which is advocating, and in this case fighting for social justice. This made me realize advocating for people and fighting for social justice is a passion and purpose I could have been putting to use the entire lockdown in lots of virtual ways