I remember the feelings I had when I found out Xavier was closing their campus for the remainder of the year. Like many of my peers, I spent the next few days in disbelief and sadness for what will be a lost semester. My friends. My clubs. My in-person classes. All of those would be gone for the next few months.
Then I looked on Facebook and found a post that seemed to be a godsend for today’s world: “It is OK to be sad about all the things that you are missing out on due to the pandemic. You can feel upset and understand that there are necessary steps to protect lives.” Sometimes, it is important to realize the steps that must be taken to reach a goal involve “unideal” ways of attaining the goal, and that it is not about you, it is about other people.
As an American, I think we may focus too much on things we deem important, even when they may not be so important in the big picture.
Is a concert of your favorite band or a sporting event you really wanted to go to cancelled or postponed? That’s unfortunate for you and for those who wanted to attend. That happened to me with a Rolling Stones concert I was supposed to attend in late June. But it is surely much better than having people become sick and die as a result of that mass gathering.
The social part of not seeing friends in person is certainly difficult also, but good friends will always be there for you, whether it is on Zoom or on social media.
As a healthy 20-year-old, I initially thought about how little the virus would affect me if I were to contract it. This was a very narrow-minded view on my part, I will admit this. Little did I remember how easy it is for my demographic to pass it on to a more vulnerable population, such as the elderly or those with underlying health conditions. They are not throwaway demographics when people talk about how most will recover from the virus.
I have a family member with an autoimmune disease known as Lupus. If she were to get COVID-19, she would likely require at least a visit to the hospital.
I also have many family members in their seventies and eighties who would be at risk for the same outcome.
These groups of people need us to be smart, make the right decisions and follow the rules that have been suggested by the CDC. Don’t kid yourself just because you might be young and healthy. I have read stories of teenagers and kids with no underlying health conditions passing away from COVID-19. This is not to scare people, but to hopefully make them view the issue from a critical lens.
It is not fun for most college students to leave campus and return back home for remote learning, and I get that. I love being with my family, but I definitely miss the Xavier community and I am sure others feel the same way. These social distancing rules and shutdowns were not made to inconvenience you, they were made to protect you and everyone around you. Unusual times call for unusual measures, and this is something every country is dealing with, one way or another.
Right now, the focus is on flattening the curve and limiting the transmission as much as possible. You have to have the mentality of putting others in front of yourself if you want to do your part and end this thing. We can and we will succeed in doing this together.