Did you change your spring break plans because of the virus? From what to what?
No, I had planned to go home anyway.
How did you feel when you were informed the remainder of the semester would be held online?
I was disappointed, as I am a senior and was looking forward to the second half of the semester on campus. However, I thought it was the right decision for students not to go back to campus considering the severity of the situation. I also expected the decision to come because many other colleges were moving to remote learning prior to the decision that Connecticut College made. I was also nervous to move to remote learning because I did not know what to expect as Connecticut College is a very personable academic environment and I am used to seeing my professors in person.
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?
For the rest of the semester I am living at home. I was upset about leaving campus because I felt like I needed those last few weeks to say goodbye to my friends and that way of life I had known for the past four years. I feel like I did not get the closure I needed before graduating.
What has been your experience with moving classes online? What's good? What's not so good?
Moving classes online has been interesting to say the least. It is difficult as a science major because I was working on a semester-long project in my biochemistry lab and that was canceled because we could not be on campus. For the most part I think my professors are doing a good job with the switch, although some are struggling with the new technology and hate that they can't write on a chalkboard/whiteboard and also can't see our faces in class since we were asked not to use video to prevent the server from crashing. I also feel like the workload is more because some of my professors post narrated slides, which take longer to watch because I can pause the video to take notes.
How has the virus (and the precautions taken to prevent it spreading) impacted your daily life?
It is hard to be home and not be able to see friends, which is usually how I take up my time when I am home. It is also hard not to go out to dinner with my parents or go for an outing with them because everything is closed, but also because we are trying to social distance and prevent the spread of the virus. I live in a suburb, so I have been going on more walks to get out of the house, which is different than what I have done before and it is nice because I am seeing more of my neighbors (at a distance). I have also gone on social distance walks with friends, we stay six feet apart, but of course it is not the same.
How worried are you about getting the virus?
On a scale of 1-10, I would say that I am about a 7 in regards to how worried I am. I am taking all the precautions (washing my hands frequently, using hand sanitizer if I go out for essentials, wearing a scarf as a mask when I go out for essentials). However, my father is a healthcare worker and I am very proud that he is helping people during this time, but there is always the risk he will bring it home.
Do you know anyone who has gotten COVID-19?
Yes, my cousin's wife and children who live in England.
Are you staying in? What are you doing to pass the time?
Yes, I am staying in except to go out for walks or to get essentials such as food. I am busy with school work at the moment, which is how I am passing the time. It is also good to have some streaming networks to watch TV/movies to unwind. I also have been spending time with my parents.
Are you going out? Where do you go and what is it like?
I go out on walks and for essential goods. It is interesting going for walks because there are more people out than usual in my neighborhood, probably because it is the only thing people can do. Before the virus, though, I would not see as many people out. When I go to the grocery store it is very strange because it can either be very hectic and crowded when people are trying to stock up on food or it can be more quiet than I have ever seen it. Recently it has been recommended that people start wearing masks when they go out even if they are not sick (or a scarf around your mouth and nose). So it has been strange seeing a lot of people with masks/scarves on. It is also strange to drive around town with almost no cars on the road, which is abnormal in my town, especially around rush hour since we live close to Boston.
What is giving you hope and/or strength right now?
It is amazing to see the way these troubling times has brought people together and the community building it is bringing about. This is giving me hope that if we all work together we can flatten the curve.
Is there anything else you'd like to tell us about what you're feeling or experiencing right now?
I think many of us are frustrated with the government, specifically President Trump. He clearly does not know how to handle the situation and all he seems to care about is looking good and being the center of attention even if what he says during his press conferences is false and inaccurate. He has no filter and says whatever comes to mind. This is dangerous for people who believe what he says and can make the situation worse, including the number of cases and deaths due to the virus. He is also rude to the press and if he does not like their questions he insults them. At least we have an election coming up in the Fall. It is a weird social and political time to be in for sure and a lot of historical events are occurring at the same time in our country.