April 15, 2020

ELI Student Writing Series: An Essay by Louise Amar

By Louise Amar

Louise Amar, currently a student at the ELI, is from Israel. Now living in New York with her family, she wrote this essay for her class a few weeks ago, when the City’s corona quarantine first began.

Weekly Report in the Time of COVID-19

Day 1:

Today, they announced that all public schools would be closing. That’s a big one, as rarely has it happened before. The knowledge that 1,000,000 meals are provided daily to kids in NYC public schools means that they will have to find a way to feed these kids.

My kids can’t believe that schools have closed their doors. Now we have to prepare. Prepare for what? For being at home, for being alone? It all feels a little over the top. It seems that there is a missing piece in the puzzle.

Meanwhile, for the last few days, I’ve been stocking up on food, keeping the kids on their toes and creating a routine for them, hoping to keep them sane, as they are not used to being at home like this with restrictions.

Many interesting conversations find us at home. Where is this all going?

Now we have the time, to take the time, to think, to ponder, to reflect and to let feelings come up with an abundance of love, uncertainty, not knowing, fear and appreciation. A basket of feelings are emerging and now we have time to welcome these feelings.

Day 2:

As I woke up this morning I was thinking to myself, I like this quiet time without the habit of the need to rush anywhere.

Getting dressed to jog in the park, I greet the sun shining and an inner smile rising from within encouraged by the warmth on my cold face.

The park is busy with joggers—all keeping to themselves at a safe, if awkward, distance while seeing that all are enjoying the fresh air on their faces.


Two young people smiling at camera
Family group - man, woman, boy, girl with blue sky and clouds and countryside

Cooking talking laughing working or doing homework is the routine in the house.

Love being home.

The End of Week One:

Cabin fever creeping in! Waking up every morning, rushing to exercise in the park with a thirst for fresh air without walls.

Whilst walking and ”waking up” to the possibility that I have been taking the simpler things in life for granted.

Listening to the media each morning and ”waking up” to how much fear they are spreading that is far more cunning and invasive than most viruses.

Watching people ”wake up” in their dreams and realizing it was a nightmare they had just gotten used to.

”Waking up” to my own dreams and the dreams for my husband and children that somehow get lost in the ”busy-ness” of life. Having time to realize whether I am walking in the park or is the park walking in me.  

Louise Amar is from Israel. She is currently taking Reading/Writing (Levels 8/9) in ELI’s Comprehensive English Program.

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