What The Shelter In Place Has Done For Us Teenagers: 2020 COVID-19


Teammates surprising friend on her birthday by driving by and spray painting a car, all while respecting social distancing protocols (Ariana Noble/Lion Tales)

As we’ve been forced to stay inside, we’ve also been forced to get creative. Thanks to Tik-Tok stars and bored teenagers, we’ve come up with some ways to see our friends and entertain ourselves. 

Shelter in Place Drive by for Sydney Jackson, on her birthday. April 14, 2020. (Wendy Jackson/For Lion Tales)

Sadly for some of us, our birthdays were during this lockdown (mine included) and we aren’t able to see our friends; until a Tik-Tok video went viral and became the new trend. On someone’s birthday, their friends drive by in a car honking and waving signs to show their love and celebration. This assures that everyone is six feet away and still social distancing. As there isn’t much else to do, friends usually stay and talk to each other out of their cars. Karina Mota shared her reason why she decided to drive by her teammates house for her birthday (with a spray painted car!).  She said “I think it’s important because it gives something for people to be happy about. It gives people joy and a chance to feel like everything is normal. They would want people they care about to celebrate their birthday like any other year.” 

Netflix and other streaming apps have become our best friends. Spending hours a day watching our favorite show or movie, we’ve forgotten to reach out to our friends. Well, Netflix Party found a way to solve that. Their Google Chrome extension has made it possible for you and your friends to watch the same show, at the same time, with a chatroom next to it. To make this happen you click on the link provided (make sure you’re on google chrome and not safari) and click “install Netflix party.” If you scroll down, it has specific directions on what to do next. This feature can become a pain when one person pauses it on their screen and it’s paused on yours as well, but it’s something to do. It is almost the same as if they were watching it together on the couch. 

Another thing a lot of us have been doing is ZOOM calls with our friend groups. This is an effective way for everyone to see each other at once and catch up. Another Tik-Tok trend that teenagers came up with was creating a Kahoot! about your life (such as favorite color, height, etc.). Then, on the Zoom call, you share your screen with the Kahoot and your friends play on their phones and answer the questions. This is a fun, time consuming game to play with your friends. Ezra Zades participated in a Zoom call with his friends while they played Kahoot and said: “it was a pretty good way to hangout but we mostly just caught up then played Kahoot.” He also stated, “it was super fun and would love to do it again with the gang”. 

Sydney Jackson’s new hobby, chalk art! (Wendy Jackson/For Lion Tales)

Due to our orders to stay inside with our family, some teenagers are going crazy seeing their parents or siblings 24/7, this has encouraged us to go on long extended walks and outside workout regimes. Anything to get us out of the house and away from our family for a couple hours, we will pursue. A lot of us have started new hobbies such as using chalk to draw,  becoming a new gardener, or becoming Tik-Tok famous (trying to). A Lincoln student, Sydney Jackson, found a new hobby, chalk art. She said “I decided to go outside and do some chalk art the other day because I was starting to get really bored and wanted to change up what I did that day.” 

Lincoln has tried to keep their students engaged by doing virtual spirit weeks. Each day, students have a spirit day and they post a picture of themselves on their Instagram story and tag “@lincolnasb”.

On Lincoln’s ASB account they post the pictures on their story and show students pride. Typically, they have around 60 students participating every day as well as teachers pitching in sometimes. This is an interactive way for students to see their classmates and to show school spirit while at home. ASB Secretary, Joann Le, says that virtual spirit weeks are important because “it is a way to try and keep everyone active and connected even though we aren’t completely able to be there physically”.

Lincoln ASB’s virtual sprit week for students during shelter in place. (Lincoln ASB/Lion Tales)

We’ve had to become creative to keep ourselves occupied. Social media and netflix can only consume our lives so much. Once this is over, expect to see us hanging with the homies for weeks to come.