What Would Quarantine Have Been Like for our Parents?

Carmen Houtsma, staff writer

No one would have ever predicted that we would ever be stuck in a global pandemic, quarantined in our houses. People now have to find ways to entertain themselves, get through online school, stay connected with friends and family, etc. 

As all of you know life is much different for us than it was for our parents. You all probably know the phrase, “Well back in my day we didn’t have _____.” This could be anything from smartphones to the internet. 

However, this does pose the question, what would quarantine have been like for our parents when they were in school during the 80s? 

Firstly, there is the whole smartphones, internet, online school, staying connected

debacle. Without things like the internet we wouldn’t be able to have online school. We wouldn’t be able to Zoom with our teachers, we also wouldn’t be able to turn in work online or anything like that. 

So what would have happened back then? Maybe a package would have been sent to their houses once a week, or once a month with all the things that they would need to learn that week or month. The school might mail them the homework, or someone might drop it off at their house. 

Another problem that would have occurred was contact. This includes contact with friends and family and contact with teachers. Along with cell phones there was also no email back then. 

This means that the only way to contact friends, family, and teachers would be using a landline, meaning that if you had a question or needed help you would have to call your teacher. 

Finally, there is teaching. How would teachers be able to teach if they can’t do it over a Zoom meeting. Maybe they would have done it using a television.

They would play lessons on a channel in the morning for certain subjects, and there would be different times for each subject throughout the day. This also means that it is a one way street and that students would not be able to ask any questions, or rewatch a lesson.  

Another problem that would have occurred with quarantine if it would have occurred during our parents’ day is entertainment. Back then, as you know, there was no internet. This means that our parents would not have been able to watch Netflix. 

Even though they had TV back then it wasn’t much. They probably only had 2 or 3 channels, and therefore only certain shows at certain times. 

To watch a movie they would have had to go to a movie rental store, and rent a movie. However, since they were in quarantine the movie rental stores would have been closed, making it so that renting movies was not an option. 

With all the technology that we have now we have the ability to efficiently learn and communicate with people. However, if quarantine would have been back in our parents’ days it would have been more lonely, and learning would have been much harder. So overall, even though we are all going crazy in quarantine, we are still a lot better off staying sane than our parents would have.