Isolation Drills: Sophia Greenberg (Riverby)

Like the majority of you, all of us in the Philadelphia area are staying at home, learning to adapt to our “new normal.” MAGNET is checking in with local musicians to see how and what they’re doing during this unprecedented time. Photos by Chris Sikich.

Greenberg: It’s difficult to talk about how COVID affected me when I am constantly reminded of the many people who have been lost to the virus as well as the people who seem to be doing everything in their power to make it harder for everyone to recover. To say it’s been hard for me somehow feels trivial, feels like I’m somehow underselling just how intense and draining these past few months have been for the world.

My life stood still for a bit. It moved quickly in brief moments and slowed down again, leaving me with emotional and mental whiplash that I think I’ve still yet to recover from. I’ve never been good at forced isolation—I was never a child who took a grounding with grace, not that this could possibly compare.

It was very hard to suddenly be ripped away from my community, to lose what I felt made me myself. I relied on shows and the social aspect of the music scene to fuel my personality as well as fill my schedule for years now. It was hard to adapt to being in my room for weeks on end.

Honestly, it was hard for my mental illness the most. I’ve been struggling with depression and bipolar disorder for as long as I can remember, and just when it felt like I was beginning to get a handle on it with medication and daily routines, it felt as though the rug was swept out from under me. I found myself spiraling for a bit, feeling lost and hopeless with every ounce of optimism I ever had completely drained from me. Some days, it still feels that way.

I’m angry more days than I’m not. I struggle with the knowledge that people in this country lack empathy and compassion for their peers and refuse to listen to science, that individualism has become such a parasite in our minds that we see little issue with forfeiting human life for the sake of convenience. I try to hold onto hope because at this point, it’s all that I have.

My heart has been aching every day since February for the people we’ve lost and for the people who will suffer for the rest of their lives because of COVID. Honestly, the pandemic has impacted me by waking me up to just how cruel and indifferent people can be toward one another. But more importantly, it’s also how little the government cares about its people. But I hold on to hope by looking at my community and my friends, who are so active in helping each other and strangers.

All we have is each other, and I wait not so patiently to be able to see everyone again.