The new normal – Day 7

March 23, 2020

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Photo courtesy of Adrian Rodriguez

Yesenia Mendez, Staff Writer

Editor’s note: “The new normal” is a continuing series that looks into how members of the Los Medanos College community are coping with a shelter-in-place order amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

With a shelter-in-place order in California, the everyday routines of Los Medanos College students, teachers and the rest of the community have been disrupted to control the spread of the COVID-19 virus. There is a “new normal” routine everyone is adapting to one day at a time. 

LMC alumni Adrian Rodriguez found himself back in his Pittsburg home during his second semester at San Jose State University due to health precautions regarding the virus. He came back to his parents’ home to be with his family and now he has to finish all 15 course units online. 

”My routine has dramatically changed, It took me two days to adjust to a new one,” said Rodriguez. “Barely, adjusting after finding a sweet spot in my room.”

Rodriguez has been isolating himself from going outside and socializing with other people since March 16, but he has used this situation to support and connect with his family: his mom, dad, sister, grandma — and his two dogs. 

“I’m talking to my family a lot more, learning about my dad’s family, [and] how he grew up,” said Rodriguez.

He hadn’t seen his parents on a regular basis in quite some time due to his busy college schedule, and his sister just came back from UC Irvine after four months. 

“It’s a warm household, we’ve developed more jokes, and just a warmer vibe despite the circumstance,” said Rodriguez. “I even got them hooked on my favorite show Narcos: Mexico.” 

With both of his parents out of work, anxiety also rose as they tried to figure out how to pay future bills. 

“As soon as Trump announced the idea of sending $1,000 checks to people, they started to feel a little better,” said Rodriguez. “But my dad is so used to working, he doesn’t feel secure with the government’s help.” 

To remain positive they all started morning hobbies.

“The gyms are closed but my mom and sister work out with me in the mornings in the garage,” said Rodriguez. “My dad tends to his garden and finds chores to do outside.” 

Rodriguez emphasized how his family always considered each other to be a team and how being cautious of others is now a new normal for their health.

“When the mailman comes close or when people pass my house, I’m not scared but I noticed I’m more aware,” said Rodriguez. “It’s almost like my body feels a threat. I’m just more cautious.”