COVID-19 Oral Histories – Rebekah Kim
For the past few weeks, Packer’s Upper School History Club has been working on an oral history project that documents the Packer community’s experience with COVID-19. Through 30 minute interviews with various people in the community, we have been recording people’s feelings, thoughts, and stories about this global pandemic. In addition to posting select parts of the interviews to the Prism website in both transcript and video form, we are also archiving these interviews at the Brooklyn Historical Society so that we can keep a visual and written record of these testimonies for the future generations. As for now, we hope this project is a way for people to stay connected and share their unique personal stories. Each week, new interviews will be posted, so keep coming back to learn more about your classmates’, teachers’, and colleagues’ experiences during this difficult and unusual time. We hope you enjoy!
-The Leaders of History Club: Sadie Sadler, Amelia Killackey, and Nick Yohn
Rebekah Kim: Class of 2021
Interview by: Nick Yohn
Q: What are some of your positive moments you’ve had during social distancing? When have you felt the happiest?
A: I feel like I’ve just had more time to like find hobbies because before when we were in school I would have no time for myself or to figure out what I actually like to do when I have free time. But now I have time to paint, draw, read, run—things that I wouldn’t be able to do if I was still going to school. I’ve also been painting my friends because I miss them and just like scenery… I’ve been getting really into nature recently because I don’t see nature that often so I’ve been painting nature. I also try to breathe fresh air every day so I’ve been going on walks, going on runs, and it’s been easy to stay away from people because I kind of live in the suburb-y area of Queens.
Q: Have you found that your relationships with your family and friends have changed at all during the lockdown? If so, how?
A: Well with my family I feel like we’ve gotten a lot closer but in a weird way. Since we’re always together we’ve gotten used to being with each other but we give each other space since you obviously get tired of people when you’re with them 24/7. In terms of my friends, I feel like everyone is kinda getting lazy, and like, even for me, I feel bad, but I barely answer my texts. Yes I facetime my friends, but it’s not like an everyday thing, and like, we have to ask each other like, “Let’s facetime on Saturday,” and then we have to make it happen. Yes, I love my friends and I miss them a lot, but it’s not the case where I, like, want to see them every day.
Q: How do you think Packer will change from coronavirus when we return?
A: I don’t think it will. Well, I mean, like obviously the situation outside of Packer will change, but Packer kids… we haven’t really been hit with coronavirus as hard as other people. Most people are outside of the city, at their summer houses, not really seeing the effects of coronavirus. So when we get back, yes it will be a thing, and for a few months we’ll just revel in the idea of being with our friends, and that being such a novel thing…but after a while, that will just dissipate and for Packer, it won’t even be that big of a deal anymore.
Q: What would you say that your typical day looks like in quarantine?
A: I try to keep myself motivated, so on the weekends, I wake up at 9 or 10, I chill, eat breakfast, do my normal morning routine, then do homework, and then after that, I try to go on as many runs as I can because it keeps me motivated and sane…then I come home, eat lunch, do more work, and then watch TV and go to sleep at like 3 [a.m.] I’ve been watching all of the old shows, I rewatched New Girl, I rewatched The Office, I recently finished Avatar: The Last Airbender…my favorite… it was so good. I finished Outer Banks. I’ve been watching every single TV Show that has come out in the past few months since there’s almost nothing else to do.
See more of Rebekah’s interview in the video below: