• Jordan Budke

Quarantine, Quarantine. Where Art Thou, Quarantine?

Quarantine, quarantine. Where art thou, quarantine?

I remember in 2007-2008 when the fires came through and all of Fallbrook was evacuated. I remember my parents waking me up that morning and saying that I didn't need to go to school because they anticipated the fires to get worse and the schools to get shutdown. I was a sophomore in high school at the time. Packing up everything we cherished into the car and leaving behind all the things that we cherished just slightly less--since they didn't fit into our tiny '93 Toyota Corolla--was an eerie feeling. Driving out of town and seeing everyone and their brothers doing the same was nearly panic inducing. Horses, dogs, cats and even pets like my tortoise, Miss Trixie (who later ran away. RIP) were packed into cars. Men and woman in camouflage, with an American flag on their sleeve, directing traffic and the thoughts of wondering if our house was going to be standing when we were able to come back.

Those are some of the memories I have from that time. I also remember it being a total adventure. Some kids had snow days but I was having fire days! Those fire days turned into two fire weeks. What at time to be alive for a 15 year old boy who hated school and loved adventure. Especially adventure that involved fire.

Fast-forward 12-13 years later and here I am, an adult, told not to run away but instead to stay inside. Indefinitely.

At the start of this quarantine, and I must admit there is still a little bit present, the 15 year old part of me was excited and suddenly filled with a childlike enthusiasm for chaos. As a kid I wanted to be a storm chaser. Hunting down hurricanes and tornadoes and fires was the thrill I always considered worth seeking. But then the snap back to reality set in; call it the "maturity" adult's are supposed to have. I started to realize how dangerous this new storm was that was rolling in.

Now here I am in the present and this storm is unlike anything I have ever seen. Hurricane Katrina was devastating. Beyond devastating. But hurricane Corona is beyond words. Storms take over coastlines. The coronavirus has taken over countries.

I know well that feeling of excitement that floods in when something new happens. School is off, there is less homework, work doesn't want you to come in and now suddenly you're free to go out in the world and explore. Not only is it awesome because you have all this newly found free time on your hands, but there is a also that part of you that know's you're not totally supposed to be out and about which fuels your adrenaline. I know it well. I have the stories to back it up.

That same part of me wants to grab this bull by the horns and take it for a ride until I teach it who is boss, but then I see the numbers of all the people that have been impacted by this virus and then remember that each number represents a person and each person represents a family. Suddenly, my enthusiasm wains from adventure and instead pleads for safety.

This is unprecedented. In 10, 20, 30, 60 years we'll be able to remember back on this time and tell our kids and grandkids and great-grandkids of our experiences, but until then please be safe. Listen to the professionals. Listen to those who are wiser than you--for there are many. Believe it or not. Every moment you spend in public or around another person just increases the opportunity for another number to become a person and another person to become a family.

You play an important role against this storm.

You know how they say to stay still when you come across a grizzly bear in the wild? Well folks, this grizzly is growling and ready to pounce. Don't move or it'll take you down.

Stay still. Stay home. Save lives.

This is a thrill worth seeking.

Jordan Budke

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