Diary of the Pandemic’s First Week

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"The site of a miniature tornado"

Friday, March 20, 2020

Today is the fifth day I’ve been locked in my own home. Normally I’d be overjoyed to stay here instead of going to my college classes, but the circumstances of the lockdown have curtailed any sort of happiness I could experience. Thanks to the coronavirus spreading throughout Pennsylvania, the state government has advised everyone to stay at home for the foreseeable future. 

Every business and public building that isn’t a supermarket, restaurant, or other service deemed essential has closed down. As part of the social distancing tactic that every news medium has repeated ad nauseum, the governor has deemed social gatherings and sit-in dining as forbidden.

Aside from the inability to sit down with my family at a nice restaurant and enjoy a meal together, I wouldn’t mind being stuck here at home. Unfortunately for me, Moravian decided to switch to an all-online instruction system, so I still have to attend classes. 

I remember the pure frustration I experienced on Monday when I couldn’t figure out how to join the online conference for my Spanish class and all the tears I shed during my fruitless attempts. My house isn’t the best environment for me to complete my classwork, either — my brother creates constant cacophonies, there’s a lack of comfortable, quiet places for me to study, and the various entertainment devices scattered about consistently tempt me to use them. 

It’s a pain to try to keep everything organized, too. I’ve littered my current workstation with various school-related items, to the point where it looks like the site of a miniature tornado. On top of that, I often have trouble searching for crucial information within the numerous emails that various sources send to my college account. Needless to say, I haven’t been taking this transition well.

Perhaps the worst aspect of this situation is that no one knows exactly when the coronavirus outbreak will end. At this point, it seems like I’ll never go back to my normal routine. 

Although I never truly enjoyed being on campus, the memories created there now appear incredibly rose-tinted. I long for the classic classroom, for the serenity of the library, for the hustle and bustle of the central HUB building. Events like these force me to recognize that you never truly appreciate what you have until it’s gone.


Friday, March 13, 2020

I can’t believe it. It’s actually happening. The coronavirus has reached Pennsylvania, and my college is transitioning to online classes in response.

Everyone was expecting this to happen. Most of the teachers were preparing for it, too. During my history class two days ago, the professor explained to the other students and I how she would continue instruction if the college closed its doors. Although I made sure to listen closely, knowing that such arrangements would only be made if there was a realistic chance of a worst-case scenario, I hoped that it wouldn’t be necessary to take these drastic actions. The email I received yesterday — the one detailing a lockdown of at least two weeks — crushed that hope.

I fear that I won’t be able to successfully adapt to pure internet learning; after all, my previous two experiences with the subject weren’t pleasant. When I took an online math course in sixth grade, I received an entire class period in the library, where I was expected to use the computers there to complete classwork. My easily-distracted, ADHD-addled brain, however, preferred to squander that time playing online Flash games instead. In just two weeks’ time, I realized my frivolous actions would earn me a failing grade, so I returned to standard face-to-face instructure.

I hadn’t completely learned my lesson, though. Four years later, I took an online alternative to gym class; after suffering through far too many rigorous exercises the year before thanks to having two CrossFit trainers as instructors, I felt I needed a respite. What I didn’t foresee was the sheer difficulty and time-consuming nature of what I thought was a shortcut to escape physical activity. Ultimately, I found myself back in the school gymnasium, playing various sports instead thanks to having a more laid-back coach.

These two mistakes from my past ensured I would never voluntarily sign up for another online class — the medium allowed for too many distractions and proved too strenuous for me to handle. Now that I have no say in the matter, I worry that the upcoming weeks will cause my stress levels to skyrocket. All I can do is pray that the coronavirus doesn’t decide to stay.


Friday, March 6, 2020

Today is my last day off from college as part of my spring break. After the weekend passes by, I’ll be heading back to school once again. So far, I’ve spent my well-deserved vacation relaxing at home without a care in the world… and I’ve enjoyed every second of it. After a lengthy period of constant schoolwork, nothing feels better than lying down on a couch to play video games, browse the internet, or simply rest my eyes for a bit.

It’s not all sunshine and roses elsewhere in the world, though. 

There have been multiple cases of the coronavirus in the United States, thanks to a few infectees that brought the virus with them when they returned from abroad. I’ve also heard that at least one cruise ship off the coast of Japan cannot weigh anchor due to being quarantined. 

Although I certainly feel sorrow for those that are infected, I’m not too worried about it affecting my own life. As much as I despise the current state of U.S. politics, I doubt the government will allow the virus to have free reign.


Friday, February 29, 2020

Today was just a standard day. Spanish class went by more quickly and easily than usual because the professor dismissed the class ten minutes early; apparently she wants to start her spring break as much as her students. I can’t even remember what she taught the class today, but I suppose it doesn’t matter right now. Afterwards, I ate lunch, returned home, and played video games on my PC until I was too tired to continue. I can’t wait to do the latter throughout my spring break!