COVID-19 one year later: ‘I thought 2020 was my year’

Mint editor reflects on quarantine, mother’s cancer diagnosis; hindsight is 20/20

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COURTESY OF SANDI KOBIESA

“I dedicated an Instagram post in January that I was finally getting back into fitness, I was set to eat healthy and spend my time wisely doing school work.” Mint editor Sandi Kobiesa didn’t expect 2020 to take the turn it did.

SANDI KOBIESA, Mint editor

At this time last year, I was in Middle of Nowhere, Maryland, basking in the glory of the east coast, spending time with my brother and mother, not a care in the world. Little did I know that my life was about to change the week after when WSU announced that we would not be returning to class in-person due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Cool, I get to finish the semester in the comfort of my apartment, not having to change out of my sweatpants and tank tops. Unfortunately, that still hasn’t changed, as we are still living through a pandemic. 

I thought 2020 was my year. I dedicated an Instagram post in January that I was finally getting back into fitness, I was set to eat healthy and spend my time wisely doing school work. 

2020 turned out to be the exact opposite. I stopped working out, because why would I want to get up off the couch? I ate so many bags of chips my boyfriend was worried I’d turn into a chip. 

I moved back home to my parents’ house as a 20-some-year-old after living independently for a year. I had to get used to a lot, but I thought I could handle it all. 

Fast forward to Mother’s Day 2020. That’s the day that actually changed my life. We were sitting and eating lunch with the honorable mother when she received a call from some unknown number and she snuck away to answer it in private. 

I thought nothing of it — everyone wants privacy during a phone call.

Except this phone call was the bearer of bad news. Not only were we quarantined in our home due to a serious virus, but now, my mother announced that she was diagnosed with cancer. We were put on serious lockdown. 

I learned so much during the pandemic. I went from hanging out with all sorts of people at any time of day, going out to eat and driving around without a care in the world, to sanitizing everything obsessively, running errands while double masking, and taking care of the most important person in my life. 

They say hindsight is 20/20. I genuinely felt like my life was over, because how could someone survive being locked down in their home? Well, I did it. 

With how high risk my mom was, I had to learn not to live in fear and anger, but with hope for a new day. With the announcement of the vaccine, to the number of cases in my town dropping, I felt that hope growing more and more each day.

I picked up so many new hobbies. I caved and adopted a (third) cat, I collected and cared for over 100 plants and I got to appreciate the little moments in life. 

Things are looking so much brighter. My mom has finished her chemotherapy and radiation, I’m able to see people that are important to me more often and I’m able to spread joy to people around me through my plant column. Check it out in Mint if you have a chance!