Happy Spooky Season! …or is it? This fall seems a lot different than previous seasons. I mean at least people can still go to apple orchards, pumpkin patches and haunted houses. But you know what the scariest thing is this season? COVID 19.
The other day I walked into Walmart to get some supplies and groceries for the start of the school year. As I walked down one of the aisles I saw a family all wearing their masks under their noses. That scared me enough to grab my roommates and head towards the checkout. But that wasn’t the worst part. The worst part was that on the way to the check out we passed multiple people who were not wearing their mask over their nose or just not wearing one in general! This is scary because you have no idea where these people have been and if you are unknowingly infected you could be accidentally spreading it to family and friends. Some of which could have serious consequences if they are immunocompromised.
You know what else is scary? Having a COVID scare.
Recently, my housemates and I chose to sequester because one of our housemates could have possibly been exposed to COVID. This housemate isolated from us for our protection just as a precautionary measure. However, when her friend’s test came back positive, and she then had to get tested, it scared us all. At this point the rest of our housemates tried to get tested through the school but, they would not test us. The nurse at the health clinic explained that secondary exposure is different and if we got tested there might be a false negative. Throughout the time we were waiting for our housemate’s test results, we were not contacted by the contact tracers. We chose to sequester because it is the right thing to do. However, I fear that not all Augustana students would take these precautionary actions. Our housemate ended up testing positive and had to move to a quarantine house. However, because she always wore her mask when she went to the kitchen or bathroom and stayed isolated in her bedroom, she was able to keep the rest of us safe. All of my other household members tested negative and showed zero symptoms. This would not have been possible if our COVID positive housemate had not been so responsible in her precautionary steps to keep the rest of us safe. Regardless of what we tested, this week of finding out and waiting for test results was the most terrifying, stressful, and overwhelming week of college I have ever had, and I think my housemates would agree.
Not only is COVID scary this Halloween season, but just the idea of not knowing what is going to happen. We do not know how this pandemic will pan out. We do not know if things will ever go back to normal. We do not know who will win the election. We do not know how the future president will handle the situation. This fear of unknowing what is going to happen is overwhelmingly stressful. I feel like I cannot make plans for the future because I have no idea what is going to happen. I cannot even make plans at a two week period because my professors do not all have things updated. This is difficult for someone like me because I like to have a set plan and schedule. I like to know exactly what I am doing and when for a period of time. Not being able to see what the end of the month, let alone the end of the week is going to look like is scary.
This spooky season is different. For students, teachers, and anyone working right now, I am sure the stress is evident. I keep telling myself, I just need to make it to the end of the week and everything will be okay–but I repeat that every week. It’s crazy to say but I feel like I’m thriving and drowning all at the same time. Mostly because I’m just trying to make it by but I’m terrified of not knowing what this pandemic will bring and what the future holds. Stay safe and enjoy Halloween 2020, it’s the spookiest of them all.