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Gonzaga students find quarantine time killers

Peter Wild, freshman, serves with World Central Kitchen.

Living life in quarantine has taken a toll on individuals all around the world.  Long days at home have pushed the limits of boredom, which have inspired some to get creative.  Here in the Gonzaga community, a few students have taken initiative to find fun, productive and even admirable feats to pursue while coping with Covid-19. 

Peter Wild, freshman, was inspired to help care for the community during this crisis.  Going above and beyond for those in need, he and his family started volunteering regularly for the World Central Kitchen in D.C. 

“My family and I [would drive] up to D.C. to pick up and then deliver the food to people in Virginia. Although there was a risk for my family and me, we knew by delivering food to high-risk people, our help would be more than worth it,” Wild said.

While his attitude is exceptionally enthusiastic now, he was somewhat nervous at the start.  Health concerns always lingered in the back of his mind, but thanks to support from his family and belief in a good cause, Wild rose to the challenge and helped make a difference.  

“At first, I was a bit nervous about the idea, but after the first day and seeing how the people reacted to receiving food I was motivated and became invested in the views of World Central Kitchen,” Wild explained.

Seeing and hearing customer feedback was a huge part of what drove Wild to continue serving at World Central Kitchen.  While they were mostly delivering meals to the front porches of families,  some recipients’ gratitude was directly expressed to Wild and his family despite them not interacting with many other people.

“On my first day of delivering food, my mother got a phone call from a woman who we had just delivered food to. She told us about her struggles during quarantine and how much the food meant to her. After this, we expanded the amount of family we delivered to, and with this, we got more phone calls thanking us for the food,” Wild said.

Positive reassurance that their work was actually helping keeps Wild and his family motivated to continue volunteering through these tough times.  He urged other teenagers, Gonzaga students especially, to actively find ways to help others.  Wild’s neighbor Javier Garcia was his link to providing aid, which shows that a path to assistance could be just next door.

“Helping during this crisis doesn’t take much, as you can help deliver food to people who need it; like me and my family, you can help by protecting those close to you who are at risk, and you can even do your part by just staying home. So many infections could be stopped by people simply staying inside,” Wild said

Senior Bill Smolskis took Wild up on his proposition to stay inside and prevent the spread.  In an attempt to pass some time at home, he adopted a fish.  A previous owner of one of these aquatic companions, Smolskis wanted a fish again, and quarantine seemed like a perfect time to try it.

  “I was in the middle of an intense Overwatch match when she called me from PetSmart and asked me what kind of fish I wanted. I didn’t think the purchase was very ‘essential,’ but hey, I got a new fish,” Smolskis said.

Smolskis actually found a fair amount of enjoyment in his new pet.  Watching it swim around and explore its habitat was entertaining and provided some distraction from mundane quarantine life.  He recommended others to explore similar possibilities as it is a fun way to kill time.

Another member of the Class of 2020 took staying home a step further by embarking on a day-long Harry Potter marathon.  Senior Patrick Pfohl sat down on his couch at about 10 a.m. one day and did not leave for about 20 hours when Lord Voldemort saw his epic demise.

“I remember thinking a [few] years ago that it would be fun to do it, then once we were a couple weeks into quarantine during spring break, I figured that this would be the best time to,” Pfohl said.

While he almost fell asleep during the second movie, Pfohl surprisingly did not feel tired again for the remainder of the films.  Despite being rooted against by the likes of classmate Olu Fashanu, Pfohl made it through all eight installments and loved it.

“It actually was even more fun than I expected; plus, it’s really cool to see back to back how the characters and story progresses,” Pfohl said.

When he concluded the last movie around 4 a.m., Pfohl felt accomplished but tired.  He recommended an earlier start time and making sure you have no commitments for the next few days after once your sleep schedule gets messed up.

Quarantine can be a pretty rough experience, but there are also ways to achieve some fulfillment.  Whether it is going out and helping those in need or just staying home and having fun while you adhere to the latest CDC recommendations, you can make lockdown worth your while. 



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  • L

    Leslie KeiserMay 11, 2020 at 2:37 pm

    Inspiring to put yourself at risk for others. Wow.

  • C

    carol H CorganMay 11, 2020 at 11:58 am

    Great article. I’m proud of Peter Wild. Jose Andres and World Central Kitchen are heroes of mine!