Video games have become part of Mick Ward’s daily routine to pass the time while he is self-quarantining.
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A second year University of Dayton computer science major from Illinois, Mick Ward, was studying abroad in Spain for the semester when his trip was cut short by the coronavirus pandemic. He received an email from the university shortly after President Trump announced that travel from Europe would be banned until further notice.
In just days, Ward’s life was turned upside down and he had to find a flight back to the United States and enter a 14-day quarantine to ensure he didn’t show signs of the coronavirus and spread it to others. I spoke to him daily for one week to take a peek inside the life of being in quarantine.
Day 1: On the first day, I learned that Ward could be in contact with family members inside his home. However, he still told me how being in quarantine was “rotten.” Ward spent most of the day playing euchre with his family, a game they play often. They even have tournaments with neighborhood families from time to time – although not during a pandemic of course.
He also has a love for video games. “I can’t play the same game for super long but I played a ton of different games throughout the day,” he said. Ward played Apex Legends, Borderlands 3, League of Legends, Smash Bros and Mario Strikers Charged. He plays games online with his friends from UD and his hometown, he said.
Day 2: On the second day, Ward (top right) took some time to catch up with the friends he made while he was in Spain. Many of them go to different universities around the country. The group video chatted on Snapchat to check in and bask in the fact that they were all in quarantine at their homes. Ward also played a few virtual reality games with his brother during the day, he said.
Day 3: Today was the day Ward had to say goodbye to his foreign exchange sister (pictured left) from Portugal as she prepared to fly home due to rising concerns and travel restrictions surrounding the global pandemic. She is a high school senior and was spending the year living with the Wards in Illinois until the virus changed her plans much like it did Mick’s. He also started his UD classes back up online and fit in a game of euchre and started a Minecraft Server with his friends.
Day 4: On the fourth day, Ward took his dog, Phoebe, for a walk. “It was nice to get out of the house,” he said. But of course, a great day of quarantine for Ward is never complete without some Minecraft, Apex Legends, Smash Bros, Mario Strikers and League of Legends.
Day 5: Today’s quarantine was about waiting for a new video game, Animal Crossing, to come out at midnight. When asked what the best part of his day was, Ward said, “The best is yet to come.” During the wait for Animal Crossing’s release, he spent some time doing his online classes, played Minecraft and FaceTimed a friend from UD.
Day 6: March 20 was a sad day for many UD students. President Spina announced that remote learning would continue through the end of the semester and graduation would be postponed.
“I woke up this morning to see the sad announcement,” Ward said. “I feel so bad for everyone, especially the seniors.” He spent some of the day playing the new Animal Crossing game with his brother and even made a Tik Tok video with his little sister.
Day 7: On the last day that I checked in with Ward, he spent a lot of his morning doing chores, cleaning the basement, kitchen and car. Ward and his mom tried to figure out how to play cribbage but gave up, he said. Most importantly, it’s not quite a day of quarantine for Ward without a day of League of Legends.
“Since everyone is home we can do scrimmages in League of Legends, because it is a 5 v 5 game we can get 10 people to play,” he said.
Ward’s quarantine was officially over Thursday, but the governor of Illinois issued a stay-at-home order for the state last week. Ward says nothing has really changed since the order because he was already in quarantine.
Well Ward, here’s to a couple more weeks in “quarantine.”