By: Lóa Schriefer

My family is from Iceland and when the virus started to grow in cases, we decided we’d go and quarantine there. I stayed all summer, and fortunately the virus didn’t affect Iceland as badly as it did many other countries. Because Iceland has such a small population (364,124 people) it was easy to contain the spread of the virus. By late May, life was returning back to normal. I was able to have a fairly normal summer, which I am extremely grateful for. Now as cases rise and fall, rules are constantly being changed. But overall the country is handling it extremely well and people are following the rules and regulations put in place by the government. So when summer was nearing its end, I had to decide whether I wanted to stay or go. I weighed my options, if I was in Cleveland I’d get to at least go in person some of the time and see my friends from a distance, but I’d still be in quarantine and there would be more stress. If I stayed I’d have to do online all semester and be away from my friends, but I would have a more ‘normal’ life. 

I ultimately decided to stay because of the ‘normal’ life aspect. My parents returned to Cleveland, so I was left behind to stay with my grandmother. I’ve definitely become more independent since I don’t have someone to drive me around (and I don’t have my license), so I have had to learn the bus system to get around the city. I’ve also just had to figure things out on my own, just in general. 

My school day starts at 12:15 PM and goes to at the latest, 7:20. I’m very fond of the 12:15 part, but by the end of the day I’m drained. Anyone who has classes with me might notice that by the last class I’m very tired and hungry which is not the best combo:) I do all my homework in the mornings and then go to school. ‘School’ for me means an office in a building my aunt owns. This allows me to have a designated HB space, so that I’m not always at home. This situation is not ideal of course, but has been working fine for the past couple of weeks. I’m able to facetime my friends to keep in touch which is not always great because it adds to my screen time, but is a necessary activity for me. I have been trying to utilise where I am, by going on lots of hikes in the mountains and spending time with my cousins. Overall, I’m very happy and having fun living in Iceland. But to my surprise I do miss Cleveland, and am looking forward to going back in January.