I told myself I wasn’t going to write about the coronavirus for this column, but as it is currently consuming my life, I decided that the best way to get frustration out is through writing.
It’s safe to say that none of us expected this, and if you did, well, I guess the rest of us were just in denial.
The thing about this is that it all happened very quickly. One day, we were living our normal lives, back from spring break. The next, classes moved online, then campus was closed. Now, Erie County and many places across the U.S. are on lockdown with the exception of life-sustaining activity.
Personally, it is very difficult for me to stay in the house. I like to go out, move around and do things. I like to see my friends every day and go on little spontaneous adventures with them. I like to sit in the Knight office and do homework between classes. I like to rush from one thing to another without a thought about what comes next. I like my busy routine, and I’ve found myself missing it a lot over the past week.
For me and my friends, our anxiety has been at an all-time high the past two weeks. Ever since March 11, when colleges started closing, we’ve all been anticipating what comes next. Things kept spiraling out of our control each day, and now that we’re in the clear, out of the storm of closings and cancellations, the unknown is what scares all of us.
It can be really easy to feel lonely during this time, no matter where you live or who you live with. But there is one thing that we must keep reminding ourselves: we are not alone in this. Staying home and limiting going out to only the necessities is unifying the world right now.
Some may say that this is the easiest thing we could be asked to do right now, to sit on the couch in order to save lives. While that may be true for some people, it might not be true for all.
Staying home isn’t a huge task, but that doesn’t mean it can’t get hard. For me, it’s hard to get work done at home. Usually, when I get tired of doing homework at home, I just go sit in a coffee shop or at the library, and I can’t do that right now. I’m not saying that I should be able to or that I’m put out by this. I’m simply saying that working from home can get difficult, and that’s OK.
This period of time is not going to be easy, and the past week has proven that. However, I truly believe that this was needed. I’m only a week into working from home (and I still have to work my restaurant job, so I’m not at home all of the time), but I appreciate everything my “normal” life had to offer so much more now.
I appreciate being able to go for drives with my friends, having production on Tuesday nights and sitting in coffee shops. I appreciate being able to sit in class and spontaneously decide to go to Starbucks afterward. I appreciate the life I so often take for granted when I’m driving up to campus on Monday mornings, wishing for nothing more than to be in my bed.
When we come out of this (and we will), I hope that everyone is a little kinder and pays more attention to what they have in the moment they have it. I know I will.