Quarantine may have forced us into isolation from one another, but here is how a few students used their furry friends as emotional support.
Clare Keller, a senior at Saint Joe, shared her experience with her pets over quarantine. “During quarantine, my cats gave me the affection from beings, other than my family, that I so missed. Paws followed me around all day, and when I was especially missing my friends, she somehow knew and gave me extra cuddles! They made us laugh all the time and brought so much joy to our family and I am so grateful for that!”
Clare’s experience is one that was surely felt all over the world during this Covid pandemic. Without the ability to interact with friends and family outside of our household, we needed to find a new source of comfort. Clare found this comfort through her furry feline friends.
Feline friends were not the only companions for Saint Joe students during quarantine. Mia Sniadecki, a senior at Saint Joe explained how her dog Aria was a lifeline during quarantine.
“Whenever I found myself getting sad or feeling trapped, she was there to remind me to be grateful for the little things in every day life. It’s wild, but if you notice how excited a dog gets when you come into the house – even if you only went out to get the mail – you find a much more grateful perspective than humans have when something mundane happens. Maybe we should all be more like dogs.”
This piece of advice could not come to us at a greater time. This long period of isolation has left us forgetting the social graces we were so used to. In a time of masks and social distancing, we all must find ways to replace our past physical ways of communication with verbally and non-contact forms of interaction. As Mia said, emulating dogs by finding the excitement in the mundane activities of a Covid ridden world may be the way we are able to reconnect with those around us.
Luci Flanagan, a sophomore at Saint Joe, has five different pets living in her home. She detailed the impact her four cats and one dog had on her over quarantine. “My pets helped me stay motivated during quarantine. During study breaks I would go find them and play with them for a bit rather than going on my phone. They would also come up and interrupt me when I had been working for a long time. They reminded me to take a break in the sweetest way possible. They really helped me stay positive during quarantine and get all my school work done without overworking myself.”
Luci highlighted one of the aspects of quarantine that may not have been at the forefront of everyone’s mind: the overwhelming amount of schoolwork dumped onto students. Last semester, teachers tried to convert the in person experience of classes into a shortened online version. This difficult transition led to many students feeling overwhelmed and unprepared to cope with this new mode of learning. Being able to turn to animals for a mental and emotional escape allowed Luci and many other Saint Joe students to attempt to balance the strain of social isolation and complicated classwork.
If you find yourself needing extra comfort or someone to vent to, talk to your parents and invest in a furry friend.