2020-07-27Due to Covid-19 my uncle's birthday party was turned into a Zoom get together. The participants were asked to create a video and submit it before the event. Normally, I probably would have just said a simple hello but feeling isolated and full of stored creativity I decide to make song. Aiso, I had lost my job due to covid. The subject of the song was the wish we, I , have to interact with fellow humans at a time when we are not able to. Who even knew what Zoom was before Covid and would I have ever tried to create a song with a harmonica if i was not quarantined, probably not. I do not think I even said the word "quarantine" more than once a year, and then only for a crossword puzzle. I tried to create a song that expressed my feelings for the time and create a performance piece that was challenging for me to do. I think after the tenth take my lip muscles were cramped and I had actual lip abrasions from sliding the harmonica back and forth. The finished product was rough and maybe one of the other 30 takes would have been better but i was on a birthday dead line so it is what it is. Unfortunately, the video file proved too big or the sound too bad that when my video was played for the Zoom "party" most of the sound was lost. Hopefully, it was not edited out. This little video will always be my gateway memory of time spent during the Covid-19 lock down. Through this song I will remember everything that happened, which was and is a lot. During my time at Brooklyn college getting my MA in education there was a focus on different learning styles which I think is typified by my video.
2020-03-01COVID-19 was an experience that presented the ideal conditions that would challenge our mental health. The fear of the unknown, fear of losing loved ones, fear of missing out on our precious years of life as well as not knowing when we'll see our close family and friends. We are separated from society unable to see our loved ones, schools are closed, many people lost their jobs or were unable to work to prevent the spread of this horrifying disease. As we're locked into our homes, we confine ourselves in our own minds which can often be our worst enemies at times for people like me. We need to be occupied and be around loved ones in order to stray away from negativity. During these times being surrounded by close family and friends was a luxury we couldn't afford because of the virus and ultimately many people like myself picked up hobbies to distract ourselves from the dreadful events occurring all over the world. During my summer break, I began learning to paint and would spend about a couple hours a day painting with my friends over Zoom which would either sometimes turn out to be a competition between us of who would do the best or we would just freely paint while listening to some calming music and keeping each other company. Although I am not very artistic or good at acrylic painting there was something very therapeutic about it. My entire focus and attention was solely on doing my best to recreate the painting from the tutorial I was watching on YouTube or trying to win the friendly competition with my friends and this helped me steer away from pondering about what's been going on in the world and was very stress-relieving. In a way my COVID-19 experience taught me a lot about my mental health and helped me find ways to make the best of the situation and not take anything for granted. Now a couple months into quarantine I still paint from time to time although not as much because the semester started and being bombarded with assignments and tests but I do make time for it if I find that I need to release my stress.