Alexandra Blackwood and her brother Aaron.

Sibling Revelry or Rivalry? Students, Family Share Close Quarters during Quarantine

Carly Greaves

The students of Manchester are spending an unusually large amount of time with their family members this semester due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Usually at this time of the year, students are on campus studying hard and hanging out with friends. However, the infectious disease COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus, has forced students to spend the rest of the semester in their homes, quarantining themselves with their families.

This situation has caused many students to spend large portions of their days with their family members. “I probably spend about five to eight hours a day with at least part of my family,” said Shayla Welch, first-year, who is currently living with her parents and two siblings.

First-year Jenny Budd, who is living with her parents, has a similar situation. “I spend all day with my family,” she said. “My parents work from home and we do not leave unless necessary.”

Fellow first-year Alexandra Blackwood is currently living with her mother, brother and two cats; she only spends three to five hours with them. “I like to hide in my room because my family can get on my nerves if I am around them a lot,” she said.

Many students are finding that spending so much time in their homes with only their families has led to similar issues. “We’re definitely going a bit stir crazy,” Welch said. “We bicker a lot and I think we’re just a bit sick of each other.”

Blackwood agreed. “Some of the problems are little things like leaving lights on or not putting away the peanut butter after using it,” she said. “Other problems are who takes out the trash and does the litter box for the cats. You wouldn’t think these would be big problems, but they turned out to be.”

Junior Ava McVey lives with her father, so she faces slightly different issues. “I do wish that my mom and brother were with us sometimes,” she said. “It can be really isolating only being able to talk to one person face-to-face each day.”

Despite these difficulties, students are still taking the opportunity to bond with their families in unique ways. “My dad orders food out a lot and does not enjoy cooking,” McVey said. “Because of this, I have kind of adopted the responsibility of cooking for the both of us. I am learning new skills and we are both eating healthier.”

Welch and her family have been watching all the Marvel superhero movies together. “It’s really fun and I think we’ll finish even if quarantine is lifted before we’re done,” she said. “If we finish before we’re free, we’ll probably start watching all of Star Wars to pass time.”

First-year James Corgan has been living with his brothers, and he enjoys playing video games with them. “I play a really dumb train game; we have discussions and work together on it,” he said. “This is always interesting because some of the levels are really hard to beat.”

While students have found ways to make the best of this odd situation, many are still ready for the quarantine to be over. “I want to be able to leave my house and go see other people,” Blackwood said. “While I love my family, a break is always nice.”

Welch agreed. “I’m an extremely extroverted person, so I really miss being able to go out and see my friends,” she said. “I think everyone in my family will enjoy the break from one another, too.”

Many Manchester students are eagerly awaiting the day the quarantine ends, but they still remember to make the best of this unfamiliar situation. “While I am anxious to get back to the outside world, I am enjoying this extra time I get to see my dad,” McVey said. “There is no one else that I would want to experience a pandemic with than my family.”