Students engage in activities to pass time during shelter-in-place


Vincent Behnke | With Permission

Junior Vincent Behnke reads Lyndon B. Johnson’s autobiography. San Francisco’s shelter-in-place order gave students time to delve into various hobbies.

By Sartaj Rajpal and Henry Murray

With Convent & Stuart Hall closing school campuses to students through at least May 3 after the San Francisco Health Department issued an order to shelter in place due to the COVID-19 outbreak, students are finding ways to spend their extra time while staying at home. 

“I’ve been working out quite a bit, as one can only sit in front of a screen for so long,” junior Vincent Behnke said. “I’ve been reading an LBJ [Lyndon Baines Johnson] biography, and I’ve re-watched the entire “The Office” series. I also completely deep-cleaned and organized my room.” 

Students say they are spending more time doing things they enjoy to fill the time previously spent on sports, school and commuting. 

“With all the extra time I’ve had, I have been reading a lot of fiction,” junior Bryan Maruyama said. “I have also watched a lot of movies like ‘How to Train Your Dragon.’”

“I have been playing a lot of video games,” junior Makana Leavitt said. “My favorite game right now is ‘Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.’ It’s important to stay busy, and video games help time go by quicker when I don’t have work to do.” 

For students who are stressed and don’t know what to do with their time, school counselor Laurie Pomeranz says order is key. 

“Keep some form of ‘routine’ in your life, get exercise every day, tap into the power of music and connect with friends,” Pomeranz said. 

In addition to delving into their hobbies and interests, community members also say they are using the time to better themselves and broaden their worldview. 

“I sometimes practice silence when I am bored and want to go outside.” Leavitt said. “It helps me put my hardships into perspective and realize that it’s not that bad. I focus on other people who are in need, and it helps me find a better mindset for myself.” 

Some students say they believe in the importance of staying in touch with their peers. 

“I have been trying to chat with friends over Facetime, as I believe it’s crucial to stay in contact with my classmates and friends so we can persevere through this unusual time,” Behnke said. 

Because many students may feel stressed while social distancing, Pomeranz encourages those who need help to reach out. 

Allowing yourself to express and feel what’s coming up for you will allow you to move forward through it,” Pomeranz said. “I am available for Zoom conversations. You can also turn to your family, friends, teachers and others who care about you. We all need to support each other during this highly unusual time.”