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Kansas City Distancing Diaries: How The Coronavirus Pandemic Helped Me Stop Worrying About Productivity

042020_Ziegler_JoshMarvineKUfilm student_COVID
Courtesy of the Marvine Family
University of Kansas film student Josh Marvine had high hopes for writing a play while social distancing at his parents' house.

A University of Kansas film student says he learned not to beat himself up because he hasn't finished a new screenplay.

When the University of Kansas decided to finish the year's classes online last month because of the COVID-19 crisis, Josh Marvine was crushed.

A film and international studies double major, he had become deeply involved in the school's Film Club and was looking forward to working on some new projects.

Now, like many college students, he's social distancing with his parents in the Kansas City area. He was not happy, until he got an invitation that inspired him.

"Early in quarantine I got this email," Marvine says. "It was information about this play-writing contest started by some college students in Minnesota called ‘The Quarantine Bakeoff,‘ with a list of ingredients to put in the play."

Since the beginning of social distancing, the media has been saturated with stories of people perfecting their hobbies, cleaning their closets or plowing through the pile of books by their bedsides. It can be intimidating.

Josh Marvine with his grandfather before they had to isolate from each other in different homes.
Courtesy of the Marvine Family
Josh Marvine with his grandfather before they had to isolate from each other in different homes.

At first it was for Marvine. But what he discovered is that working during a global health crisis is hard. He's distracted. Like many of us are. And like the rest of us, he's doing the best he can. He's worked on a play with his grandfather, which has given them both something fun to do.

And he's learned some lessons that will serve him throughout his life.

"If we're a little distracted and there are some days when we can't finish our work or our school and we want to boot up Netflix or boot up Steam, we can definitely do that. It's OK to be kind to yourself right now."

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