As the COVID-19 pandemic turns regular life upside down, how people manage their lives with respect to work, family, and travel have shifted.  We asked our MACES Executive Board members how they are coping.

Avery Bonair-Cyrus, MACES Governor, shares his thoughts on physical distancing and online classes.

What has been the biggest challenge for you during the past few weeks of physical distancing?

Avery Bonair-Cyrus: The biggest adjustment for me has been the sudden holes in my schedule. Between, classes, meetings, recreational activities, and social activities being cancelled/banned I found it very strange to be in the same setting (home) for so long. But in the sudden free time I have, I’m finding myself doing meditative things like walking, biking, and cooking. Video chats and phone calls have also been really helpful in connecting with people and knowing that we’re all in this together.

Have you found attending classes online convenient?

Avery Bonair-Cyrus: Attending classes online has been a much-needed way for me to have something to focus on. It’s also reassuring for me that the restarting of online classes will let me graduate on time in May.

Any tips for SCS students on how to stay social while physical distancing?

Avery Bonair-Cyrus: Video chat apps like Houseparty are really fun and creative platforms to have fun, remote interactions with friends and family. Even having a meal with someone over video call is a really great alternative!

Working and studying remotely can come with its distractions, from email notifications, family commitments, to social media alerts, and of course Netflix; how do you stay focused?

Avery Bonair-Cyrus: Well, I try and maintain as much as my pre-lockdown habits as I can. I try to wake up around the same time and make sure to do things like shower, make breakfast, etc so I can mentally differentiate working at home from being at home.

What I most importantly started to realize is that being distracted, needing to take breaks from work/assignments, and not being 100% focused were not my being lazy but the way I was processing the stresses of this very scary situation. So don’t be hard on yourself if you find yourself binging more on Netflix, or snacking on your favourite ice cream. Things will get back to normal.

Demand for Netflix has surged so much in Canada that they have had to downgrade their video quality…what would you recommend your fellow students start streaming? Or a fitness video/channel, book or activity?

Avery Bonair-Cyrus:

Netflix recommendations:

  • Ozark
  • Community
  • The Office

Book recommendations:

  • Educated (Tara Westover)
  • Tribe (Sebastian Junger)
  • American Pastoral (Philip Roth)

Once the local travel restrictions have been lifted, where do you want to go?

I’ve always wanted to go to Alaska.