Long Beach Youth Shares Her Isolation Diary, “My Descent Into Sadness.”

May. 12, 2020 / By

Social Distance Diary 

Yesenia D. Pacheco

Author Note
The events documented are very boring and offer no substance. Wash your hands, not your hair and enjoy my descent into sadness. 


Week 1, Day 1: Bloody Beginnings and Binge 

All campuses have been closed starting today. March 17, 2020 aka St. Patty’s day. And while our Irish counterparts are left partying from the comfort of their own home (for better or worse) I have been gifted with an early visit from aunt flow herself. Seeing as the entire world is sold out of toilet paper, soap, and anything sanitary related it is impossible to obtain my feminine needs, although ULTA is still open and holding in-store sales, in case I desperately needed some Kylie Skin cosmetics — thank you, ULTA!

Thankfully, my luck hasn’t completely run out because I found an old box of jumbo-sized Food 4 Less tampons. Score! Chili’s offers take out, but not delivery, so it’s another soup and sandwich night. And at least I have finally decided to start watching Gossip Girl.

Week 1, Day 3: Out of Food and Out of Streams

Me and my dad got Chinese takeout today. We wanted to support our local restaurant since people are using the virus as an excuse to be racist. But to our surprise racism couldn’t stop good food. Regardless of what Twitter said, there were a lot of people waiting for China Chef Express.

Instead of their usual super long line, three people waited with distance at the door, while others waited in their car until the line got shorter. It was to-go only for obvious reasons, but it made me happy that there was seemingly less ignorance in my city when it came to the virus.

When we got home, we watched Friends even though my dad hates that show. We plan on finishing it before school starts back up again. (Update: we finished the series and all I can say is stan Miss Chanandler Bong !)


Week 2, Day 1: How Much Beauty Sleep Will Turn Me into Cindy Crawford?

This is the question I’ve apparently been attempting to answer, given the fact that I’ve been taking 15-hour depression naps since this lockdown went into effect.

Time no longer has any meaning to me. It has only been two weeks since I’ve been isolated from the outside world, but it feels like ages.  But this isn’t a new feeling; I often spend my summers on my bed with headphones on, but spending my spring break the same way is too drastic of a change. I had just been in full scholar mode and I feel my brain going numb from my new vegetable status.

It’s been a month worth of Saturday’s. I have taken the advice of the late John Lennon: “There is an alternative to war. It’s staying in bed and growing your hair.” My leg hair to be exact.

I feel so completely gross, but it’s nice to not to worry about my appearance for once. I am still bathing of course, but I’ve only washed my hair twice, which has down wonders for my dandruff.

Yes, I felt it necessary to tell the world about that because I know I’m not the only one letting themselves go. And to the people who keep posting their workout videos from home, congratulations on being healthy — know that nobody likes you. 


Week 2, Day 2: Hollywood, Please Buy My Fan Fiction

My big heroe tweeted that she won’t be reading anyone’s manuscript after the social distancing ends. I guess everyone is a writer now, and good for them. A few old online fan fictions that haven’t been updated in the past ten years are now being brought back to life. I’m here for it.

While I rewatch The Kissing Booth and After and enjoy their adolescent cringe fest, I figure, why not me? If a Harry Styles smut fic can turn into a cash grab Fifty Shades of Grey knockoff, why can’t my old 35 chapter Wattpad original? I just have to rework it, a lot, and maybe I can make a hated teen romcom. Interesting idea, let’s see if I can commit to it. 

Week 2, Day 3: Self Care and Self Reflect

So I have to shave my legs. I’m just as body positive as the next chick, as long as the body isn’t mine. I don’t look good for people to see me, I look good because I want to. How can I be focused when I feel like garbage. I’m breaking out for no reason. I haven’t been wearing makeup and I drink the appropriate amount of water. If I keep dressing like this is a vacation, I’ll keep acting like it. And those online assignments aren’t going to do themselves, no matter how much I try to avoid it. It’s time to get back on track.


Week 2, Day 4: Keep Your Social Distance From Me

Okay, I’ll admit that I wasn’t the brightest ray of sunshine before this all started. But it feels like the longer I spend by myself the more convinced I am that — I am my best companion. 

Even the smallest interaction with anybody frustrates me. My granny won’t get with the program and stay home. No, you don’t need to go to McDonald’s right-right now grandma, they aren’t sanitary locations on a regular day.

She doesn’t get that this virus is targeting her and she can’t just laugh it off. I’m losing my patience and my kindness with everyone. I’m worried for her health and I keep finding myself yelling at her to “STAY HOME LADY WHERE ARE YOU GOING THE GOODWILL IS CLOSED?!” And everyone is posting like crazy on Instagram like they are actually doing something worth talking about. I don’t care about their Spotify, I don’t think toilet paper memes are funny. And I’m sorry Chantera, but we get it. You’re a Gemini and we don’t care!

And I know I’m not not the only one having a hard time transitioning to a 24/7 home life. I feel like my instructors are even more confused than I am. And is it just me or are there way more sex scenes when I’m watching TV with my dad. Thanks for the cringe warning Netflix. Even my cats are pissing me off. I just really want Chili’s.

Week 2, Day 6: Was that Due Today?

You know when it’s summer vacation and all the days blend together to create one long blur of time? This self-quarantine vibe is a lot like that only it’s been seven days and I forgot that I was supposed to be doing school this whole time! I had all A’s before this outbreak started. I hope it stays that way, but so far not so good.

I miss my friends, I miss my instructors (lectures are so much fun when they actually care about what they’re talking about). I can’t wait to order a triple dipper from Chili’s and stuff my face in public. I need to get a schedule put together in order to get myself properly together. 

Week 3, Day 1: Piece of Mind and a Piece of Chicken 

So they ruined Chili’s.

I ordered Chili’s to-go because I am weak and they have Buffalo wings. It felt so good to be outside and so strange because it was so empty. And everything seemed okay. 

It was packaged fine, the lady who handed it to me wore gloves. When I opened that box to devour my triple dipper meal, something just felt off. The portions were smaller. The ranch was actually blue cheese. The chicken was overcooked. My dining experience was compromised. I will order from them again, of course. And I put no blame on any of the cooks or workers, no. The fault was to all the people who helped spread this virus by not staying home, forcing restaurants to try and accommodate however possible. It isn’t possible. Now I have to keep eating sandwiches for lunch because what other dishes are there? I bet stay-at-home moms are thriving right now, cooking things from scratch and having family game nights. I am so sick of lunch meat, but off to the kitchen I go. I’m shaking things up. Grilled cheese today. 

Week 6, Day 2: This is My Life Now

Yesterday was Easter and boy have I grown this past month. I cooked an entire chicken. Stuffed! Mashed potatoes with gravy, side vegetables, and banana bread from scratch for desert! No more whole wheat sammies for me, I’m a big kid now, mama! My little YA romcom is falling together slowly and my grades aren’t suffering. My grandma went to get fabric the other day, for no reason. If the virus doesn’t get her, I will because that woman is driving me insane. She went outside for fabric, FABRIC. My dad plays 70’s music at all hours of the night. 

I have been feeling like I’ve stopped caring. My motivation has reached a new minimum and it’s saddening because I really felt like this was my year. I wish they would pause this semester because I don’t feel like I’ve been learning anything. I was so loving this semester before everything got out of hand. Now it’s just unfulfilling busywork and quizzes on textbooks we never even touched in the classroom.

I know I need to do these things anyway because my grades depend on it. I know my peers are feeling the same disinterest for remote instruction as me. We all keep posting about how we should be doing homework while we continue to ignore our responsibilities.

I still feel a pit of stress inside myself while I spend my few waking hours doing anything else. I never made that schedule but the routine I’m on right now, is very self-destructive. So here is my schedule below.

The Schedule I Planned:

What I Actually Did:


And what did I learn from all this? Stay inside and don’t procrastinate like me. I’m scared that it’s only going to keep on like this.

I got an email from my school saying that the rest of our semester is going to be online. And by the way things are escalating, I can assume summer is canceled. I wonder when me and Chantera are going to be able to have our board game night. I miss her most of all, aside from my super cool professors.

I was really liking this whole semester. Giving speeches was fun when everyone was laughing and cheering. And not only was I finally able to understand science, but I was so loving it. All these classes suck online so hard. Except for American Women’s History, she is really trying her best and it’s still pretty amazing.

I’m not surprised that my dad and I are still getting along, he is my best friend and if anything I may be annoying him too much. I hope this whole thing speeds up and people are more careful. 

I’m scared for my family and loved ones. It doesn’t look like this virus is going anywhere anytime soon. People within reach are dying and there is little I can do to help them. All my problems are so stupid and minimal when we look at the big picture.

I’ve been worried about essays and quizzes when funerals have been kept to a minimum and mass graves are being dug. No matter how hard things seem from the home, we need to keep it together and keep it inside for the sake of the world and the people who are actually taking action to fight this. Please stay home. Learn how to bake really bad banana bread, and to all the other students out there, I know online classes are boring and pointless but the more we avoid the work now, the more it’ll pile on. 

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Yesenia Pacheco

Yesenia is a Polytechnic High School student who is also the editor-in-chief in the journalism class. She enjoys listening to Michael Jackson.