COVID-19 and cookies

Senior+Nadia+Martinez+baked+Betty+Crocker+chocolate+muffin+mix+during+her+10+days+of+quarantine+due+to+exposure+from+COVID-19.+Martinez+slowly+watched+as+the+muffins+rose+in+the+oven.

Nadia Martinez

Senior Nadia Martinez baked Betty Crocker chocolate muffin mix during her 10 days of quarantine due to exposure from COVID-19. Martinez slowly watched as the muffins rose in the oven.

I tested positive, this text message from my dad flashed on my phone screen. I had to miss 10 days of school by just a single text. It was towards the end of a long day, when a friend of mine asked me, “How was your day?” To which I replied “It’s been alright so far, as long as nothing else bad happens.” Looking back, I should have knocked on wood, because as soon as those words escaped my mouth I recieved the text from my dad. 

My heart sank because I knew that the text could only be referring to one dreadful thing. My dad had been feeling a little under the weather two days prior to taking the COVID-19 test, but my family assumed that everything was alright since he’s vaccinated—we were wrong.

My mind raced with thoughts, am I asymptomatic? Am I exposing those around me to the virus by being at school? I called my brother to immediately  pick me up from school, so I can prevent spreading the virus, if I had it.. 

When I got into the car, I cried. I cried for my dad’s health. I cried for those who might be affected due to my ignorance. Lastly, I cried for myself because I was able to foresee the stress that would come from missing school. My mother then took my brother and I to a testing site the same day. Luckily, we had all tested negative.

As the days passed, my dad’s health rapidly deteriorated, experiencing high fevers and body aches for several days in a row. All I could do to help was feed him with gloves and a mask on; I’d also occasionally FaceTime him to check his condition. It was a struggle at home to say the least. On one hand, I had to take care of my father since my mother went back to work. While on the other hand, I had to keep up with the daily online assignments that my teachers posted on Google Classroom. The stress was slowly rising as each day passed. I needed to find an outlet to not only be productive, but to also relax at the same time: baking.

Baking pastries helped me alleviate some stress because it kept my thoughts engaged while also satisfying my appetite.”

— Nadia Martinez

 It started off small, baking muffins from box recipes and pre-made mixes. Then, as I became more adventurous, I made cookies from scratch. Seeing the dough rise because of the heat from the oven and smelling the potential of each cookie was amazing to experience. Baking pastries helped me alleviate some stress because it kept my thoughts engaged while also satisfying my appetite.

As the last two days of my quarantine were coming to an end, I was eager to go back on campus to see my teachers and friends, but I wanted to get tested again as a precaution. Thus, I visited a nearby clinic and got tested for the second time. As I awaited the results, I mostly baked and did homework. Once Sunday came around, I had received my results: negative, some much needed good news.

On Monday night, I laid in bed feeling the excitement and stress of returning to my normal routine. I laid there thinking of all the things I had to do, but more importantly of the people I could see again. So, on Tuesday, the next morning and first day back from quarantine, I awoke at 5:30 a.m. Going through the morning routine I had developed before felt natural. It was a lot easier than I had thought going through the motions. Walking up the steps to school and entering the gates felt familiar, a feeling I was deprived of during the past week.

When I arrived at some of my classes, I discovered that some of my teachers had not posted their assignments online. This was not the welcome I had envisioned; I had expected to be done with all of the assignments that were posted online and be caught up with my classmates. Unfortunately, that was not my reality. 

Coming back to school was accompanied by a rush of emotions: a feeling of happiness to see my peers again and the pressure to catch up. It reminded me of the feeling when I would sit in front of the oven to watch the muffin batter slowly rise to form the top of the muffin.