Student responds to COVID-19 experience at Gannon

Ali Smith, Arts & Leisure Editor

Education, especially at the collegiate level, has proved to be a major adjustment for students and educators since the beginning of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Since then, according to the Worldometer COVID-19 pandemic data tracker, over 262 million individuals have been diagnosed with the COVID-19 virus, 5.2 million of whom have died due to complications related to the virus.

According to its website, Worldometer collects its statistics and data from the most reputable national and international organizations, including the United Nations, the World Health Organization, the Food and Agriculture Organization, OECD and others.

In my experience, Gannon has done a great job at responding to student COVID-19 cases and has also provided sufficient support to those who have been diagnosed.

Although my experience is slightly different from those who live on campus, being a commuter, I felt thoroughly supported by the Gannon Health and Wellness Center when I was diagnosed with the virus.

I was shocked by the degree of support I felt from Gannon while quarantined with the COVID-19 virus.

When I tested positive I notified the health center immediately. After a report, the individual is met with an email with COVID-19 at-risk instructions, as well as a questionnaire from the Health and Wellness Center.

After I answered the questionnaire with symptoms and contacts, the Health and Wellness Center sent out a very helpful list of at-home remedies for the common symptoms of COVID-19, including at what point you should receive medical attention.

In the same email, the Health and Wellness Center also provides a contact to access the Zoom link for a virtual support group for those in isolation and quarantine in the Gannon community. This group meets weekly, at 5 p.m. Thursdays. I did not partake in the support group, but I found this to be a comforting resource, as I have found the COVID-19 virus and associated isolation to be a very lonely experience.

In terms of academics, I was put in contact with the Student Success Center by the Health and Wellness Center employees in order to notify my professors of my necessary online accommodations as well as any other academic needs or concerns. These accommodations could change based upon my symptoms, assignments and workload.

Being out of the classroom, even though you can join virtually, leaves a student at a great disadvantage by not allowing them to fully interact with a lesson geared for in-person delivery. I have learned this to be true through my field placements as I have studied secondary education over the course of the pandemic.

Although professors do the best they can, it can still be challenging for students to fully grasp the material and the experience of the lecture, especially when you are not feeling well. For these reasons, I found the Student Success Center resources and support to be very reassuring for me.

When I described my symptoms to the Health and Wellness Center, they were able to prescribe me the necessary medications, even as precautionary measures, saving me the process of involving my primary care physician. They were even willing to deliver me the medication if I could not access it, which was above and beyond for the center as I am a commuter student.

Finally, the most supportive and personal measure I experienced was having 24/7 access to a Health and Wellness Center COVID-19 support employee. This employee instructed me to call or text anytime I had any questions or concerns during my isolation period and made very clear that they were there for me from start to finish, which made me feel less alone in my experience.

Although we are almost two years into the pandemic, the adjustment period is far from over. Every day our society and our school adapt to the virus and its limitations. After my experience, I found that we have tremendous implementations and support in place to ensure student success and complete well-being, even in the face of a deadly virus.

Gannon’s response was impressive to say the least.



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