Mackenzie Denney is a senior, and her little brother is in eighth grade. Before quarantine, they had their separate extracurricular activities and schoolwork. Makenzie had a job and was preparing for all of the senior year activities, including state contest, prom, and graduation.
With the immediate switch to online schooling and closure of anything non-essential, the normal springtime routine disappeared. And suddenly Makenzie and her brother had to spend much more time together.
The hardest part of the transition for the siblings was keeping a schedule without the structure of going to school.
Mackenzie’s brother and mom set up their computers at the kitchen table while she worked in her room alone, or occasionally with her mom. At times, they argued mightily about who got to work in the kitchen with their mom. To resolve this, they usually let their mom pick who to work with at the given time.
Mackenzie and her brother also had problems with noise when they did activities at different times. Sometimes her brother played loud music or was talking too loudly while playing video games with friends. They would tell each other when the other needed to be quiet.
They did not have any personal space issues; if one of them wanted to be alone, they just went to their separate rooms or Makenzie would go drive around.
The quarantine made Mackenzie and her brother learn to get along. They realized that they actually have a lot in common, and can get along if they try, even with their differences. With such a large difference in grade and limited space, there were bound to be some disagreements. But Mackenzie and her brother learned that communication is key to living with someone peacefully. Without their personal school activities to distract them, they learned to get along better and grew closer as siblings and friends. Quarantine wasn’t in the plans for Mackenzie and her brother, but they turned lemons into lemonade.