In the last 30 days, the world as we knew it came to a screeching halt and our freedom to come and go is no longer. We’ve been forced to accept this way of life, “shelter in place.” Your ability to hug your friends, grandparents, dine in at your favorite restaurant or grab a cup of coffee has been placed on what feels like a permanent hold.
It’s my sophomore year and in the blink of an eye, it’s already the second semester. Two and a half months into the semester, my roommates and I were heading to Florida for that much needed time away from our classes to unplug. We soaked up every ounce of sun. As we packed up to return home, we started hearing news of the first confirmed case of the Coronavirus in Michigan. Reports came out about the closing of college campuses in Michigan, which seemed next to impossible. I remember thinking how could that happen and in the blink of an eye it did.
In the blink of an eye, I left sunny Florida and arrived back in Michigan. The announcement came that classes were being moved to online. Within 72 hours I was heading back to Mt. Pleasant. I vividly remember telling my parents I’ll be fine in my apartment. In a very short time, many more cases of the virus were reported and I quickly decided that I should return home. And just like that, I was packing up my apartment to move out. I packed my things and said goodbye to a place that I made my home for the last six months. A place that became more than just four walls, it was a place where I shared memories with the people that I love the most. I can’t be leaving my sophomore year behind already, can I?
In the blink of an eye, I was settling back into living back at home with my family, while adjusting to this new life of online classes. The transition has been stressful and all of this has brought some anxious and uncertain feelings. The number of positive cases of this virus grows daily as well as the number of deaths, it’s scary. I know I can't be the only one with these feelings and concerns. How am I supposed to adjust, focus and feel like everything is ok if no one has ever faced this before?
In the blink of an eye, Michigan is on lockdown. Time stood still. Watching the Governor address the state, seeing people’s reactions on social media and the thought of how serious the virus is began settling in. The new normal was watching the number of cases rise every day and always listening to the news for up to date information. Who would've thought it could come to this?
In the blink of an eye, two weeks of shelter in place has passed and the timeline is extended for three more weeks. The news didn’t surprise me, I was prepared for it. The new normal has set in but I still miss the everyday normal that I was used to. When can I have my life back?
In the blink of an eye my world, your world, our world has changed forever. The regular everyday things such as going to the grocery store, eating out, even going to the library seems like a luxury. Hanging out with friends is done virtually and these online classes have become our way of life, for now. Almost every college student’s hometown is now their new address. Adjusting to being with your family all the time can be overwhelming, to say the least, but it's being with family in difficult, uncertain times that helps you see there is a light at the end of the tunnel. It won't be easy, but this too shall pass, and we will survive.
In the blink of an eye.