Editor’s note: With social distancing guidelines firmly established, Sports Editor Daniel Mayes is conducting interviews with area athletes. “Quarantine Chronicles” is a Q&A series with local sports standouts about their daily lives during the new coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
When the outbreak of COVID-19 led to the closure of schools in March, Dalton High School's Hope Parker didn't know what to do.
"School is my passion," Parker said. "Everything I do, I do for school. I'm constantly doing homework and reading."
The rising senior, who can also be found as a pitcher and first baseman for the school's softball team when she's not in a classroom, transitioned to distance learning when schools closed.
Now, as her senior year approaches, the softball standout is preparing to hopefully get back onto the diamond this fall, should preparations for high school sports seasons go smoothly.
Parker spoke to the Daily Citizen-News about her life since the COVID-19 outbreak.
Q: How has your life changed during the COVID-19 outbreak?
A: I've definitely picked up some new hobbies. I've been reading a lot, which I hadn't done much outside of what we're required to in school. Other than that, I've been kind of staying home and taking care of our animals. There's not really much you can do.
Q: Do you have any goals for your senior softball season?
A: I really hope that all of us can come together. We all have weight training together, so I think our chemistry is definitely going to be a lot better. I think we'll be able to work a lot better together this year.
Q: What are you like off the field?
A: I've been getting really involved in politics lately. I game, but that's not that interesting.
Q: What are your plans after high school?
A: I definitely want to be a physician's assistant at least, and, if I can, I want to be an emergency room doctor. I'm having difficulty choosing a college.
Q: Is there someone in your life that you look up to?
A: My mom (Rachel Moses). She's not only my mom, but my best friend. Whenever I came out, I'm pansexual (which is sexual, romantic or emotional attraction towards people without regard of their sex or gender identity), she was my rock. I really wasn't expecting the support that I got, but it was just incredible.
Q: What has your experience been like as an openly pansexual athlete?
A: I'm not sure if my coaches know, but if they asked, I wouldn't hesitate to explain. A lot of the girls on my team know. I'm pretty sure all of them do. I'm really thankful for them. They've actually given me so much more support than I could have anticipated. I admire any group of people that is willing to put their own beliefs and opinions aside to support the people that they love and care about.
Q: Who is your favorite athlete?
A: Michelle Moultrie (former University of Florida softball player, current member of Team USA softball). She was a center fielder, and she is so fast, talented and athletic. I saw her on TV one time, and I was like, this is my girl.