How COVID-19 affects me

It’s around late January when I heard about several cases where people were getting sick with symptoms that were similar to the flu, which led me to believe that this whole outbreak was a bad case of influenza. However, it wasn’t long until I heard the details of how the Coronavirus was affecting people around the world. But what was the real eye-opener for me was when the winter term finals were changed to online to avoid students and staff from coming in contact with the virus. 

Then around mid-March, I was notified that all spring term classes were going to be made into online classes. It was a bit difficult for me to think this was a good idea because I’m one of the many students that take classes that work better in a classroom setting, rather than an online class setting. My first thought about this change was, how are art students going to be able to have art classes? This is especially true for the students who need access to the campus art studios. I was relieved when I found out that there’s a chance that Loso Hall will be open for individual students to work in the studios.

After finals week, I went back to my hometown in Colfax, Washington to stay for spring break. The day after I arrived home, the governor of Washington closed all non-essential businesses and requested people to stay within their homes to keep the virus from spreading. Luckily that didn’t change my family’s lifestyle all that much, since both my parents work essential jobs. However, during spring break, my family and I usually go on a trip or something while I’m home. Instead, we stayed at home in self-quarantine, which was very odd and a bit boring in my opinion. However, it helped to ensure that none of us or anyone else in our town would get infected with the coronavirus. 

However, many small businesses in my community have suffered due to having to temporarily close. For some, this ended up making their stores close their doors permanently, which is a problem for my hometown, considering that most of the town is made up of small businesses and restaurants. Next, the city closed the public park’s play equipment. Now, the city doesn’t have to sanitize the equipment multiple times a day. Yet, the one thing that surprised me the most was how the community came together to help each other out, which is the first time I’ve ever seen this happen in my hometown. It saddens me that it takes a pandemic or some kind of disaster to bring people together to help one another. 

Now that I’m back in La Grande and the spring term has started, I’ve noticed that La Grande hasn’t changed all that much. I still see people driving around, and I still see people outside throughout the day. Unlike my hometown in Washington, people were outside only in the morning, then the town was empty for the rest of the day. Since La Grande is bigger than my hometown, it surprises me that people are still traveling around town, especially since students are coming back to campus, even if it’s just to pack up and move out. I think that if people remain calm and work together, we will be able to overcome this obstacle and save more lives in the end.

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