Further Inside The Quarantine

By Marcos Perales | Big Stick Editor |

Quarantine means different things to different people. It can be a time to “relax” or a time to work even harder than one used to before the coronavirus outbreak. Every day, we get a bit closer to the vaccine availability, but that does not mean that lives are getting easier.

The stories about people losing hope or their jobs are not just stories but are still happening to this day. For Roosevelt seniors, and seniors in general, the year that is “supposed to be the most exciting time,” is the one when the world shut down. For senior Enrique Castaneda, it’s all the same but hustling routine every day.

“I’m doing everything I possibly can with my life right now from saving my money to even paying my own bills, but it’s harder than ever to do that,” Castaneda said. “It’s a shame that things have to be like this when we’re all just about to spread our wings.”

In this modern era, it’s no debate that the year 2020 was not a forgettable year, to say the very least. A mask is often one of the first things that comes to mind, associated with negativity.

Enrique, however, has done his best to see all the hazy opportunities that are in front of him.

“[It] helped me focus purely on myself and to better the person I was before the pandemic,” Enrique said. “My first job was at Bill Miller but I had to quit when the virus hit America, but a few months ago I got myself a job at Smoothie King.”

New cases of the virus are at an all-time high at the beginning of this supposed hopeful new year. The next greatest numbers were in June and July of 2020 running from 3,000 to 15,000 new cases every day in Texas alone, the highest count being on July 16. Now it seems much easier to get the virus even when you’re the most careful. For last December and January, we have a new range of 13,000 to 58,000 new cases in Texas as well. 

Senior Enrique Casteneda

“I’m starting to get the feeling that we are all eventually going to get the virus and that none of us are safe,” Castaneda said. “Not only that, I don’t exactly have the best home situation right now…not going back to school because of the rising cases…my mom works at a nursing home which is currently having an outbreak, so it’s very possible that we’re all infected.”

According to Kaiser Family Foundation, there are clear signs, conveyed with a stairway shape bar graph, that the deaths in nursing homes are continuing to go up, reaching over 100,000 claimed lives among staff and patients this past November and maybe rising. About 40 percent of coronavirus deaths are originating from care facilities.

“It’s kind of hard to think of anything else…still exercising and talking to a few of my friends but after all, quarantine makes me feel like I’m living the same day on repeat,” Enrique said.