Quarantine Diary: School on Zoom’s out for summer, maybe forever

By , Daily Memphian Published: May 06, 2020 4:00 AM CT
Daily Memphian

A J Quinlen

Addie Jo Quinlen is a native Memphian and student at the University of Richmond, class of 2021.

Exams are over. No more Zoom classes for me!

At least, I hope not. There’s always the chance next semester starts online. Fingers crossed all us college students can dodge that bullet.

Quarantine diary: Kicked off campus

So yeah, school’s out for summer. … Now what?

For many of my friends, summer plans have gone bottom up — jobs, internships, study-abroad trips, all canceled. In a way, I got lucky. I hadn’t yet locked my summer plans down before the quarantine started, so I didn’t really have any lost plans to mourn.

<strong>AJ Quinlen</strong>

AJ Quinlen

My luck has gone further than that, though. Since I got home, I’ve been doing contract work as a digital producer for The Daily Memphian. So, while many companies have been forced to be idle, The Daily Memphian, working to keep up with the increased news flow, was willing to take me on.

Normally, during summer break, I have a job or internship like I do now. But I also travel and hang out with friends (a LOT), and both of those activities are on hold right now.

I’m one of those people who starts lots of projects yet rarely finishes them, and now that I’m essentially trapped at home, working a part-time job and done with classes, I have a sizable chunk of time for those projects. So, my primary personal goals for the summer have turned into things like “write a children’s picture book,” “get that news piece I wrote for a class published” and “finish travel journal entries.”

Quarantine diary: My cousin is on the COVID-19 frontlines

Sunday, my family of five popped into our hairdresser’s backyard for a quarantine cut. She’s set up a little outdoor salon, equipped with a full-length mirror, a chair for clients, and her tools of the trade, while instating a BYOM&S (Bring Your Own Masks & Sheets) policy. 

She has been cutting hair for her regular clients there since her salon was shut down during the safer-at-home orders in Memphis and Shelby County. As instructed, we all wore masks and brought an old sheet to wrap ourselves in while we took our turns in the chair. Her dog lazed under a table nearby.

We got good cuts over good conversation, muffled slightly by our masks.

Later that night, my sister suggested we get curbside pickup from Huey’s. It’s pretty impressive how quickly so many restaurants around Memphis made the transition from dine-in to curb-side service.

I picked up our food (the waiters were very nice) and when I got home, we found fun, encouraging notes from the Huey’s employees drawn with Sharpies on the tops of our takeout boxes. It made our night.

It’s a strange time, and for the most part it’s unclear what this summer will look like. But Memphians adapted to this odd situation, and I can’t help but feel Memphis will come out all right.

Editor’s Note: The Daily Memphian is making our coronavirus coverage accessible to all readers — no subscription needed. Our journalists continue to work around the clock to provide you with the extensive coverage you need; if you can subscribe, please do


Huey's Safer at Home order


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