When I left Lehigh for spring break, I never would have imagined the turn of events that would take place.
I knew the coronavirus was a serious issue that I should monitor occasionally, but prior to spring break, I viewed the virus as a faraway issue.
I understood there was a chance that a couple of cases would be confirmed
domestically, but I did not think the disease would begin to spread so quickly in the U.S.
On a personal level, it did not occur to me that the virus would have such a significant impact on my day-to-day life, work, schedule and personal interactions. Most of all, I am stunned that I will not be returning to Lehigh for the remainder of the semester.
My spring break primarily consisted of hearing about coronavirus news every hour. As the days progressed, the news only became worse. The disease was spreading quickly, and the societal panic was rising. So much was happening, including the suspension of professional sports, the banning of travel from Europe to the U.S., and restrictions being put on large gatherings, among many other things.
Lehigh’s decision to move to remote learning for the remainder of the semester changed my life the most. But the real fear, I believe, is the fear of the unknown. So much is being discovered every day, and there is still a lot of research left to do. It seemed as if the best thing you can do as a member of society to help the situation is to distance yourself.
At first, the idea of social distancing didn’t seem too bad. I figured it would consist of endless movies, video games, and snacking, of course. However, after a few days of living in sweat pants and a lot of time spent on the couch, I realized I was going to have to make a schedule for myself. Sitting around all day long with the news on in the background just wasn’t going to cut it for me.
Luckily, I already had my class schedule, and plenty of work to do for my classes. I decided to add in a workout routine, which I try to do outside as much as possible to get some fresh air. I’ve also started Facetiming a lot more with friends, in the hope that we can make this time seem as normal as possible.
When you think about it, this might be the universe’s way of telling us to slow down. COVID-19 came out of nowhere, and all of a sudden we are being forced to conserve our resources, to spend time with our families, and to appreciate our elders.
I didn’t realize how fast-paced my life had been going until all of this came about, and in a weird way, it has made me grateful for the more meaningful aspects of my life that I hadn’t really taken the time to appreciate before.
As scary as everything is right now, I think it’s important to keep the positive energy in the air, and I hope that as families and communities we are able to do so.
Alex Woods is the editorial pages editor for The Brown and White. He can be reached at [email protected]