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Connecticut College COVID-19 Archive

Documenting the Camel Experience

Greer Hill '20, Government and Economics major

http://learcenter.digital.conncoll.edu/covid19/photos/GreerHill.jpeg

Title

Greer Hill '20, Government and Economics major

Description

I'm grateful to how the Conn administrators and deans have handled everything. Their communications have been clear, frequent, and helpful.

Date

April 5, 2020

Location

Santa Fe, New Mexico, United States

Text

Did you change your spring break plans because of the virus? From what to what?
Yes, I was supposed to be in Arizona but had to drive back early to my home as concerns about the virus were increasing. I also had a Conn friend visiting me who had to fly back to the East Coast early because she was worried about a possible travel ban domestically.

How did you feel when you were informed the remainder of the semester would be held online?
I was first in shock. Conn was one of the last schools to announce the transition to online learning. My friends and I all watched and read about other NESCAC schools making the transition, keeping track and waiting until we heard something from President Bergeron. My initial reaction when we got the news was relief- relief from waiting to hear something. Then came the sadness and anger. I'm sad that I didn't know that my last moments (last night sleeping in Harkness, last time seeing some of my friends, last classes with my professors in person, last ride on the school horses during my equestrian team practice) were before spring break. If I had, I might've cherished them more. I feel angry that this happened during my senior year. The weeks after spring break are always the best, and now I'm missing out on my final Floralia, last walks in the arbo, getting dinner with friends. My classmates and I will never get to have our senior week. For the seniors on the equestrian team, we organize a senior trail ride, which is another beloved tradition with our coach, and it will likely never happen. I know that an official announcement hasn't been made yet about graduation but I feel angry that this is another huge event in my life that myself and all my classmates will have to miss out on. It's tough to grapple with because people are really suffering worse than I due to the virus but I still feel as though my life has seriously been affected.

Where are you living for the rest of the semester? How did you feel about leaving campus? Or what's it like remaining on campus?
I'm living at my home in New Mexico. Unfortunately, I didn't get the opportunity to return to campus by the end of spring break to move myself out of my dorm and officially leave campus. My parents wouldn't let me travel back for fear of exposing myself and subsequently them. I had friends help pack up my room and store my items for me. I wish I had gotten the chance to say goodbye to my dorm and my campus as so many others did, but I know the experience would've been incredibly emotional.

What has been your experience with moving classes online? What's good? What's not so good?
Online classes have been going ok. I like that my classes meet virtually so I can still see our professor and my classmates. I've been trying to FaceTime with friends to complete our homework "together" and feel connected in that way. Unfortunately this semester I was taking a yoga and dance class as well. It's been challenging to transition those classes into something that's easy to do from home. I can do yoga at home but I have no real open space to dance and I think our professor is struggling to change the lessons into a virtual format. My heart goes out to all the senior dance thesis majors who won't get a chance to perform their theses this spring. Generally, online learning is harder to focus in. For those of us who chose Conn for the individualized attention and small classroom learning, online classes just don't satisfy those needs. I've found since the transition, I have very little motivation to complete classwork and participate. My friends all say the same.

How has the virus (and the precautions taken to prevent it spreading) impacted your daily life?
Besides all the reasons I listed before about missing out on my senior year, it's definitely impacted me in other ways. I qualified for the regional equestrian finals and was supposed to compete on March 30th, but it was canceled. My parents business is in the hospitality industry and many of their customers are hotels/casinos/etc that are now shut down due to the virus or on spending freezes. My parents worry about the coming recession and how their sales/business will suffer and for how long. Although this hasn't happened to me yet, I worry a lot about how this will affect my job. I'm supposed to start a position in CT in July and many people I know have had job offers rescinded or start dates pushed back. I'm supposed to be making the cross-country move from NM to CT and now I'm worried I won't be able to tour apartments in person and that my job start date may possibly be pushed back. Besides all that, the paranoia in my household has become obsessive. My dad makes us wear gloves and wipe down all packages/mail with Clorox wipes. He washes all of our food, including eggs. My 97 year old grandmother is in a nursing home that's locked down due to the virus, I haven't seen her in over a month. My mom Facetimes a nurse who puts her on the phone, but she doesn't understand the virus or why we can't come see her, which is very sad.

How worried are you about getting the virus?
I personally am not too worried but I'm worried about passing it onto those I love. My mom has an autoimmune disease and has had numerous health issues over the years. I would be scared to give it to her.

Do you know anyone who has gotten COVID-19?
Yes, some family friends have tested positive for it.

Are you staying in? What are you doing to pass the time?
I am staying in the house. Besides my online schoolwork, I have started running around my neighborhood to keep exercising. I do yoga inside the house. I've also been playing the Animal Crossing video game, which is a great escape to a different reality. I've been baking bread and cooking. I call my friends from school and my boyfriend who are all across the country from me.

Are you going out? Where do you go and what is it like?
The only places we've gone are to the grocery store and my parent's office. My parents are self-employed so they still go into work and don't break social distancing, as it's just them working there. We've gone to the grocery store probably more than we should. We wear masks that my dad had left over from a sanding project and gloves. Every time I go in I'm surprised at how few people are taking precautions- not wearing anything over their faces or gloves. I guess there's a lot of mixed messages about what we're supposed to do so maybe that's why. Our grocery store has been limiting the number of people allowed in, so social distancing rules still apply.

What is giving you hope and/or strength right now?
I guess just the fact that this is all likely temporary. I'm grateful to be surrounded by my family and in a place where I can still get outside and walk around without worrying about running into people. Things could always be a lot worse.

Is there anything else you'd like to tell us about what you're feeling or experiencing right now?
I'm grateful to how the Conn administrators and deans have handled everything. Their emails and communications have been clear, frequent, and helpful. I'm also grateful for President Bergeron's reassurance that the class of 2020 will have an in-person graduation, whether it's in May or later. I appreciate that she wants to recognize our class.

Citation

, “Greer Hill '20, Government and Economics major,” Connecticut College COVID-19 Archive, accessed August 10, 2022, http://learcenter.digital.conncoll.edu/covid19/items/show/453.

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