My mom leaves her purse and work bag in her car after returning from her job at a hospital so she can avoid bringing in any germs to our house. I know this only because I speak to her each day from my apartment in Columbia where I am self-quarantining after a spring break trip to Florida. 

COLUMBIA, S.C. My mom works at a hospital and worries she could contract coronavirus from being around patients or equipment. Each day, when she gets home from work, she leaves her purse and work bag in her car and showers immediately.

My dad owns a real estate and property management company. Normally, he shows houses every day to prospective buyers but now these buyers do not want to go in someone else’s home for fear of getting germs. On the flip side, most sellers do not want their houses shown for fear of agents and buyers bringing germs inside. Also, some buyers are getting turned down for loans because they have lost their jobs and some closings are canceled or postponed because buyers cannot travel from long distances to attend closings.

“I’m hitting a big reset button and examining everything I do to get more efficient,” my dad said. “I was forced into this from 2008-2010 when the economy collapsed, but I’ve been on cruise control since then.”

I know all this only because I stay in touch by phone and text. I’ve put myself on a self-imposed quarantine from family after my spring break trip to Panama City, Florida.

It was one of the most surreal experiences of my life when all the news started coming through on my phone. Like many college students, I was on spring break during that time and it almost felt like a dream.

The one thing that is helping to keep me from getting too bored in my apartment is that all three of my roommates are still here too. We can hang out with each other, play games, watch movies and continue to live semi-normally.

From this experience, I’m trying to learn to appreciate the little things in life. We’ve been making sure to open the blinds every day so that the sunshine can come in and brighten the room. I hope to come out of this experience better equipped to deal with hardships in the future.