Why I won’t take this pandemic summer for granted

The rise of COVID-19 rocked the Davis household in many different ways. My dad, a pharmacist for Wake Forest Baptist Hospital and professor at Campbell University, spent three months at home working on changing his teaching curriculum and watching an absurd amount of television. My mom, a recent retiree after 30 years as a pharmaceutical sales rep at Merck, was enjoying the company of everyone in the house. My brother, a sustainable investing analyst at BlackRock, left his cramped apartment and late-night office stays for an extended visit back home. I was finishing up my second semester of junior year and enjoying spring break in West Virginia with my friends when everything unfolded.

At first, we were excited for another week of spring break, however that excitement faded when the severity of the situation was realized. Once home, I was frustrated because I didn’t understand why I couldn’t hang out with my best friend, who lives only a few houses away. I was overwhelmed with school, constant bad news, and tension from friendships. One of the few constant sources of support came from my family. My brother and I are very close. I might be biased, but I’d say we are closer than the average pair of brothers. Ever since he went to college, having him home during breaks like Thanksgiving and Christmas was the best. It was the most time we’d spend together since high school. Even then, we would only be together for a couple of weeks. Once he graduated and moved to Boston, we all assumed family time would never be what it once was.

Coronavirus put all four of us in the house together, with an indefinite time stamp. It felt like childhood again; eating together at the table, playing board games, and hanging out with our 14-year-old dog. It all just seemed right. We were all so lucky to have this time together. I can’t think of any other way that the four of us would have spent months on end together.

This summer, my brother and I used this gift of time to create many new hobbies. From April to May, we played Around-the-World, a basketball game we’ve played since we were kids. We also rekindled our love for fishing. Almost every weekend was spent fishing in the neighborhood pond for large mouth bass together. Nothing was more exciting than watching him reel in a nice bass. While my brother was working from home, he often saw birds fly across our yard and developed a hobby for bird watching. Of course he got me into the hobby and now we both spend time staring out the window or walking around our neighborhood getting overly excited to see a new bird. The most fun we had this summer was playing pickleball. Pickleball is a combination of using a paddleball paddle and a wiffle ball that’s played on a tennis court. Our brotherly competitive nature came out while playing. One game would last us about two hours because neither one of us would ever want to give up a point. It was an extremely tiring game, but so much fun to play.

This pandemic, while extremely tragic and scary, allowed me to spend a few more months with my brother. I’m grateful that my family stayed safe and healthy during the pandemic. With school right around the corner, our time together is almost up. I will never forget the time we spent together. That’s why I will never take this summer for granted. I love you Ryan, you’re the best brother ever!

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