NBA cancellation during quarantine period leaves me devastated
Junior Rebecca Choi watches basketball highlights on her phone March 19 while waiting out the absence of professional sports. Image reprinted with permission from Noah Choi.

“Emergency announcement from Fullerton Joint Union High School District: Starting Monday, March 16, schools will be closed. We will begin Distance Online Learning March 16 through March 20, 2020.”

When the district first sent this text message to my phone during school last Friday, I — as well as all my friends — was ecstatic. I would not have to go to school for a full week before spring break! Everything seemed to be working out in favor of the students.

Little did I know, by that time next week, I would be dying to return to school. I mistakenly viewed this social distancing as an extension of our spring break, but boy, was I wrong. 

The decision to close down schools reflected the severity of the coronavirus issue across the country; because the virus was becoming that much more widespread, district officials had decided to restrict students from coming to school.

Consequently, this meant that many other organizations would close down as well, including the NBA season. Frankly, I headed into this “break” completely unaware of the widespread implications of COVID-19, so when I read the Los Angeles Times posted March 11 announcing that the NBA “indefinitely suspended the 2019-2020 season” after one player tested positive for the virus, it came as a big shock.

I personally enjoy watching basketball and was extremely excited for this season, so when I discovered that the entire season was suspended, it was disappointing. 

This news became even more upsetting once I realized that I, along with the majority of Sunny Hills students, was confined to my home — quarantined. Now what would I do at home during my free time?

The effect of the quarantine hit especially hard during the first two days of the week that students did not have to engage in online learning because faculty were discussing future plans for the school year. 

After being swamped with back-to-back tests and assignments, it felt weird to have all 24 hours to myself. 

I would usually come home around 6 p.m. every day after finishing school and various extracurricular activities, then eat, maybe watch some sports on TV, finish homework and go to sleep. I felt unusual not waking up to a 6 a.m. alarm bell and rushing to get to school on time.

Nevertheless, I embraced my newfound freedom and proceeded to wake up close to noon, around 11 a.m. After, I ate breakfast — or would it be considered lunch? — and washed up. Then came the problem: I was bored out of my mind. 

The time I would usually spend watching my favorite sports team play on TV was now completely vacated, and I didn’t know what to do with it. It had been so long since I had that much time to myself that I felt like I had forgotten my hobbies. That day passed by excruciatingly slowly.

I thought I had nothing to lose when school was shut down. I was wrong. 

Now what exactly did I lose from school being shut down? The enjoyment I gained from watching my favorite sports teams play. What did I gain? Extreme boredom.

Luckily, I found a new favorite pastime to survive this quarantine period — if you need me, you can find me watching NBA replays on my phone.

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