The NY Quarantine: A Student’s Account

The last day of classes for Galway students ended up being Thursday, March 12th. Sadie started keeping a daily journal of her experiences on Monday the 16th. 

Day 1: March 16, 2020

Deaths in NY: 9

Confirmed cases in NY: 950

Today, all restaurants shut down and offer take-out only. Many resources such as toilet paper and disinfecting products have vanished from grocery store shelves. I went on a trip with my mom to the grocery store, Hannaford, and Dunkin’ to check out all the buzz. Dunkin’ was not allowing people inside as they only run the drive-thru. When receiving our coffees, the barista was wearing gloves to prevent spreading germs. The grocery store was even more cautious, constantly wiping down windows and surfaces. The cashier even wiped down my mom’s credit card with disinfectant. We took the last package of toilet paper, paper towels, and the last two things of soap. The New York State Health Department now encourages grocery stores and supermarkets to close early in order to restock their shelves and clean. When we asked when the next shipment of toilet paper was going to arrive, the cashier claimed he was unsure. We feel strongly that he lied since he did not want us to come in and take most of the supply or tell any others. For the rest of the day I stayed home and didn’t leave my house.


Day 2: March 17, 2020

Deaths in NY: 12

Confirmed cases in NY: 1,374

The amount of confirmed cases is increasing rapidly. Other than going out to the grocery store to get the supplies we need, my mom is not letting me or my sister leave the house. We were allowed in the school to grab our work from our teachers’ classrooms and books from our lockers. My mom and sister decided for us to go at the earliest time possible, 10:00am thinking the amount of kids would be limited. However, everyone had the same idea as us. A police officer held the office doors open as we walked through. All of our lockers had been opened and looked through for laptops. Thankfully, I did not have to worry about this since mine was already at home. There were many monitors in the hallways with gloves making sure we were quickly grabbing our stuff and leaving. Remembering I still had some hand sanitizer in my locker, I grabbed it and brought it home. My mom forced me to put some on after leaving the school. All students were forced to exit through the stairwell near the gym instead of the main entrance and were asked if they had everything they needed. For the rest of the day, I stayed home and did some of my homework.


Day 3: March 18, 2020

Deaths in NY: 16 

Confirmed cases in NY: 2,332

Today, I started my homework and stayed home all day. I made sure to go outside for some fresh air. The amount of confirmed cases and deaths in just New York State is getting scarier and scarier by the day!


Day 4: March 19, 2020

Deaths in NY: 21

Confirmed cases in NY: 4,152

My mom went to the grocery store early this morning to avoid large crowds. According to her, over the speakers, the store clerks constantly reminded people to stand 6 feet apart. There is also a ration on toilet paper and paper towels. Only one of each is allowed per shopper. I didn’t leave my house today or go outside. I just worked on homework. Online school is not as fun as some may think. I miss seeing my friends since now I’m not allowed to.


Day 5: March 20, 2020

Deaths in NY: 46

Confirmed cases in NY: 8, 403

I didn’t do much today except homework and go on a car ride to the end of my neighborhood and back 5 times with my sister as a form of entertainment. All regents exams have been postponed. Will school be closed for the rest of the year?


Day 6: March 21, 2020

Deaths in NY: 56

Confirmed cases in NY: 8, 522

This morning I went on a walk to the end of my neighborhood and back. Everyone was in their house as I only came in contact with one person. Starting the 23rd, all nonessential travel will be banned, leaving only the grocery stores open. 


Day 7: March 22, 2020

Deaths in NY: 76

Confirmed cases in NY: 15,600

Today I found out that my neighbor was tested positive for coronavirus since someone at Stewart’s had it. I would have never imagined the virus would hit so close to home. I am steering clear of that area and as per usual, haven’t left the house all day. Lately life has been super boring, consisting of waking up at two or three in the afternoon, doing homework all day, then not falling asleep until three or four in the morning. Tonight at 8pm, New York State governor Andrew Cuomo passed “Matilda’s Law,” forcing people to stay at home in order to protect the elderly from the virus due to their weak immune system and slow down its rapid infecting rate. The measure requires New Yorkers to stay home and limit home visitation to immediate family members or close friends in need of emergency assistance. If it is necessary to visit such individuals, the visitor should get prescreened by taking temperature and seeing if the person is exhibiting other flu-like symptoms. Both individuals should wear a mask for the duration of the visit.  


Day 8: March 23, 2020

Deaths in NY: 125

Confirmed cases in NY: 20,875

Today went as usual. I did homework all day and face-timed my friends since I can’t see them in person. My aunt works at a hospital, assisting surgeons and said that any person in the medical field must work even though the hospitals are filled with those infected by the virus, and aren’t allowed to take off work unless they develop symptoms of coronavirus. Also, after researching the current status of the virus, I came across the fact that doctors are discovering the virus has recently been more popular in children and many are on ventilators struggling to live. Being very young myself, I am definitely more concerned with this discovery.


Day 9: March 24, 2020

Deaths in NY: 210

Confirmed cases in NY: 25,000

I went out for the first time in a week to pick up dinner tonight. At first we planned to order Chinese food, but noticed that they were closed due to the virus like many of the other Chinese restaurants. Many people are scared to eat their food or be in close proximity to them since coronavirus originated in China. Therefore, we ordered salads from the place next door. Only a few people were allowed in at a time to pick up their food and workers constantly wiped down the door handles and counter with disinfectant. After, my mom and I went to the grocery store to pick up some more food and products we needed. Not only was the parking lot like a ghost town, but the store itself was empty both food and shopper wise. We also received many dirty looks from the other shoppers, skeptical if we had the virus. 


Day 10: March 25, 2020

Deaths in NY: 366 

Confirmed cases in NYS: 30,811

Though quarantine sucks, on the positive side of things, satellite images show a significant reduction in air pollution. CO2 emissions in China have decreased by 25% compared to last year. In addition, Venice, Italy’s canal water has become a lot clearer, due to the lack of tourists. My step-sister lives in Italy and they also have to self-quarantine. She said that for entertainment, everyone goes out on their balconies and porches at night and sings. 


Day 11: March 26, 2020

Deaths in NY: 466

Confirmed cases in NY: 37, 258

New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo is now stating that April could be a lot worse than March due to the rapid increase of reported cases. It is said that New York will reach its peak in the next two or three weeks. We are in need of more hospital beds due to the large amount of people that need ventilators. Many people are dying every hour. Trump also announced that the U.S. Navy hospital ship, the USNS Comfort, will depart for New York City on Saturday and arrive at Pier 90 on Monday. This will be for people with illnesses other than the coronavirus in order to keep them separated. In the United States, at least 81,321 people have been tested positive for the coronavirus, including more than 1,000 deaths. We now hold the record against  China, Italy or any other country, according to data gathered by The New York Times.


Day 12: March 27, 2020

Deaths in NY: 519

Confirmed cases in NY: 44,635

Terrified to leave my house, I stayed home all day. I got to facetime some of my friends, but that’s about as much social interaction I can get. Even church and religious classes have been transferred to facetime. 


Day 13: March 28, 2020

Deaths in NY: 728

Confirmed cases in NY: 52,000

After talking with my aunt who, again, works at St. Peter’s hospital in Albany, I learned that 4 people are being treated there for the virus. They are expecting many more including patients from New York City. Part of the parking lot has even turned into a helicopter pad for bringing new patients from all over New York. 


Day 14: March 29, 2020

Deaths in NY: 965 

Confirmed cases in NY: 59,000

School is now cancelled until April 30th. Trump is now stating that May 1st is the target to end all social distancing. I really want to be able to see my friends and go to school on my birthday in exactly one month!


Day 15: March 30, 2020

Deaths in NY: 1,300

Confirmed cases in NY: 66,497

People in New York City are traveling to upstate New York to escape the huge outbreak in the city. This is a major concern for us since these people could already be infected and could be spreading the virus to people as we speak without their knowledge. The scary thing is that the symptoms of the virus do not appear until 2 weeks after being diagnosed. My piece of advice, stay home! In addition, according to New York Times, “The 1,000-bed ship, the Comfort, with 12 operating rooms, a medical laboratory and more than 1,000 Navy officers, arrived at Pier 90 off West 50th Street in Manhattan just before 11 a.m.” 


Day 16: March 31, 2020

Deaths in NY: 1,550

Confirmed cases in NY: 75,795

I went to Target today to get out of the house and get some groceries. Everyone made sure to keep their distance when in the store. We even waited for a few people to enter before us. Many of the aisles were completely empty, especially the toilet paper and paper towel aisle. See the picture in the Slideshow for this story. When checking out, my mom and I stood on the tape that marked six feet from the person in front of us checking out. Before we could set our stuff down, the cashier wiped down the register and card reader. I even noticed the pharmacist in heavy duty masks, goggles, and gloves. It felt like the world was ending.


Day 17: April 1, 2020

Deaths in NY: 1,941

Confirmed cases in NY: 83,712

 I stayed home all day and prepared for this month which will supposedly be the hardest hit of the virus. Most of these cases are in New York City, which currently have more than 47,439 of New York State’s total. I don’t plan on going out of the house anytime soon and school may be extended even longer. Some people are saying it will start to peak in July. 


Day 18: April 2, 2020

Deaths in NY: 2,373

Confirmed cases in NY: 92,381

Today I had some online classes through Google Hangout. It’s definitely a lot different than being in school since everyone can wear what they want, stream it from anywhere they want, one person was even in bed, and mostly everyone mutes themselves, so there’s not as much conversation and interaction. Some teachers also use it as a way to just talk to their students about what they’ve done to pass the time. I really enjoy this because it’s nice to see everyone’s faces after two weeks. Another positive thing is that I heard New York State regents exams may be cancelled and instead we will either get an exam made by the school district on the material we have covered or an average of all four quarters for our final grades. The teachers were telling us today that there is a good chance school will be closed for even longer. My friends in Georgia said they are off for the rest of the year. However, whatever happens, our principal said that prom will still happen, even if it’s held in June or July.


Day 19: April 3, 2020

Deaths in NY: 2,935

Confirmed cases in NY: 102,863

I talked to my aunt today. She is continuing to work at St. Peter’s Hospital in Albany as they prepare for an influx of coronavirus patients from New York City. More than a dozen patients already have it there, coming from upstate hospitals. Both of her children are grown up and have their own houses and apartments so she is volunteering to risk herself instead of a mother or father with little children. She says her face is red and swollen with pain after having excessive amounts of masks, goggles, and other protective gear on after working for up to 12 hours a day. There is an image in the Slideshow of this story of the construction of the helicopter pad.


Day 20: April 4, 2020

Deaths in NY: 3,500
Confirmed cases in NY:113,000

My mom went to pick up dinner tonight at the local Italian restaurant, The Village Pizzeria. She said that everyone kept their distance from each other and no one was allowed inside. Pick up was at the front windows. Another problem on the rise is the spreading of the pandemic towards the New York Police and Fire Department. According to Fox 13 News, “More than 400 members of the FDNY have tested positive for the coronavirus.” And in addition, “One in 6 members of the New York Police Department are out sick or in quarantine.” This is terrifying, since they are very important to the safety of our people!


Day 21: April 5, 2020

Deaths in NY: 4,159
Confirmed cases in NY: 122,031
I talked with my dad today, who lives in Florida. He owns a business called Tampa Steel and Supply, which has been marked as essential and is currently still open. However, they do take social distancing very seriously, shown in the Slideshow image from the video camera from my Dad’s office. When waiting in line, customers must stand six feet apart, denoted by the tape. He told me that except for Tampa, where he lives, Florida is not taking the virus very seriously compared to the other states. Many people though, did hop on the trend of stocking up on food. There are some images of the aisles in Publix, a Tampa grocery store in the Slideshow. 


Day 22: April 6, 2020

Deaths in NY: 4,758

Confirmed cases in NY: 130,689

All New York State regents testing was cancelled today! In addition, as of right now school is cancelled until April 29th which is my birthday. Things are looking up! 


Day 23: April 7, 2020

Deaths in NY: 5,489
Confirmed cases in NY: 138,836

Life has been pretty boring. I have just been resting and doing homework all day. However, I do make sure to include some exercise each day, whether it be a run or workout. This is required for gym class, but I would have done it anyway because it gets my energy out, helps me focus on my mental and physical health, and keeps me in shape for volleyball season. 


Day 24: April 8, 2020

Deaths in NY: 6,268
Confirmed cases in NY: 149,316

We are supposedly in the peak of the outbreak starting today and for the next two weeks. This may mean we will have school for the rest of the year.


Day 25: April 9, 2020

Deaths in NY: 7,067

Confirmed cases in NY: 159,937

Today I had five Google Meets with my teachers. Most of them predict school will be closed for the rest of the year, including the principal. In addition, in our class officer meeting, we discussed the possibility of our biggest, money-making fundraiser, Conor’s Cruisers, most likely being postponed or in the worst case, cancelled. This is our golden ticket to an amazing prom held by us next year, so it’s a big deal. Most of the money for the fundraiser comes from the raffles and baskets we do, given as donations from restaurants and other businesses. This is yet another major issue since most restaurants have either been closed or are barely getting enough business, through take-out only. However, on a positive note, Mr. Miller, our principal, said that prom will still be held after quarantine is over, even if that means in August, and graduation will still happen as well, even if it happens at a drive-in.  


Day 24: April 10, 2020

Deaths in NY: 7,844
Confirmed cases in NY: 170,512

The third quarter grades closed today. Let’s see how the fourth quarter goes with online teaching and grades! Something that really opens my eyes and scares me is the amount of bodies and body bags lying around New York City due to the virus. 


Day 25: April 11, 2020 

Deaths in NY: 8,627
Confirmed cases in NY: 180,458

Life has been really boring lately, especially on the weekends like today. I have little to no work to do and I haven’t really talked to my friends in the past few days like I always do during school. It’s almost been a month, but it feels like years. Lately, I have just been doing workout programs on YouTube and watching Netflix to pass the time.


Day 26: April 12, 2020

Deaths in NY: 9,385
Confirmed cases in NY: 188,694

Today was Easter, which was really sad because I didn’t get to see my family like I usually do. I wish I could have seen them in person instead of through text and calls. To get out of the house, my mom and I drove around Saratoga and Ballston Spa and went to Dunkin’ because nothing else was open. Everything was really empty. I even got to see the mall which was completely wiped out.  


Day 27: April 13, 2020

Deaths in NY: 10,056

Confirmed cases in NY: 195,031

It’s been exactly one month since I was last in school! Today marks the first day of the fourth quarter and teachers are already packing on a ton of work. Let’s see how this quarter goes! Hopefully the teachers will be more lenient. 


Day 28: April 14, 2020

Deaths in NY: 10,834
Confirmed cases in NY: 202,208
Life has been really boring lately. My sister and I have baked so many different things to pass the time. Tonight she made peanut butter cookies! It’s hard not to eat everything in your kitchen when you’re home all day with nothing to do.


Day 29: April 15, 2020

Deaths in NY: 11,586
Confirmed cases in NY: 213,779

Tomorrow marks one month since I first started documenting my life during quarantine. It feels more like 5 months! We are currently at the peak of the virus, at least in New York, but the cases still increase by thousands per day. Some hospitals are even building extra storage rooms and freezers for the dead bodies! When I drove past the Saratoga Hospital last week, I saw that they even have a tent outside the entrance that you must go through before you can enter the hospital. This is for patients who have the coronavirus or need to get tested so that they do not spread it to those inside. Lastly, Cuomo ordered that all citizens of New York wear a mask in public. Right now, I do not own any, and I know they are very hard to find nowadays.


Day 30: April 16, 2020

Deaths in NY: 14,636
Confirmed cases in NY: 222,284

We’ve reached one month! Quarantine has now been extended until May 15th for New York. It’s crazy for me to believe that at the beginning of my quarantine account, there were only 9 deaths and now there’s 14,636! That means 14,627 more people have died in the course of one month in New York State alone! I would do anything to get out of the house or go to school again, something I usually would never say. I haven’t even been outside in days! Over the course of this month, research has definitely developed and I thank our doctors and scientists greatly for risking their lives everyday! For example, something really scary is the fact that the virus is equally impacting those who are healthy, even if they are young. Let’s see how these next few months go! Stay safe!