Life with COVID-19 at RIT

2020 has been a year full of unexpected twists and turns. I’m not sure anyone expected to be in the midst of a global pandemic when we were celebrating the start of a new decade. There’s not a soul on this Earth that has not at least heard about COVID, much less know someone who has it or has been affected by it. RIT is definitely no exception to the Coronavirus pandemic, as cases have been continuing to rise with students and employees as the semester has gone on. Though we have only recently reached level Orange, concern has been growing within the RIT community on how the school as a whole is handling this crisis. 

I interviewed Gabi Johnston, a first-year Graphic Design student on her thoughts surrounding RIT and the pandemic as a whole:

How do you feel RIT has handled COVID thus far?

“Honestly, up until about a week ago, I was feeling okay about it but seeing as they were unable to prevent us from moving from Yellow to Orange, I’m starting to feel like things aren’t as under control as I’d initially thought. Don’t get me wrong! I’m grateful that we’ve gotten to make it this far into the year but there are a lot of practices I’d change in terms of how frequently we test, how often public spaces are cleaned, and even just ensuring social distancing in lines for food.”

What are you doing personally to stop the spread this semester?

“I sanitize a LOT. To the point where my friends laugh about it, but better safe than sorry! And it’s not just washing my hands, I sanitize my phone at the end of the day and spray down any bags I used. I think a lot of people think about the germs on their hands but there’s a potential for germs on a lot of our other frequently used objects as well!”

What has the COVID experience taught you as a whole?

“Oof, tough one. I think acceptance and thankfulness, mostly. A lot of first years lost a lot from our senior year, like prom and graduation. But people are working hard to try and rectify those losses and find ways to keep people together while we have to be apart and for that, I have to be grateful and accept while it’s not what I wanted, It’s better than nothing. Overall though, I think this year has taught me a lot about being aware of mine and other’s mental and emotional wellbeing. While we all know the physical effects of COVID-19, the ways people are coping emotionally vary from person to person. I think at a time like this, we all just need to be understanding and look out for one another.”

No matter how you are dealing with the pandemic and 2020 as a whole, there is no denying this year has changed us all. Stay safe, wash your hands, and wear a mask!