What Concerns Me Most About the Coronavirus Outbreak

Coronavirus itself is not what concerns me most about the current global crisis at hand, but rather how it is displacing student populations, putting people’s livelihoods at risk, and eliciting hateful responses from some people.

Many displaced college students now have nowhere to go after campus closings due to this crisis for several reasons like travel restrictions, finances, or college being their permanent home. Not all college students have stable home lives or places to go during this unprecedented public health emergency.

With the closing of colleges, many of these students have lost their on-campus jobs and do not have the financial means to survive. And while colleges try to remedy the situation, many of them are not handling it as well as they could be. Not to mention forcing students to travel back to campuses to move out of on-campus housing by a certain date only puts students and their families more at risk during this outbreak.

I am proud of the Skidmore student body and our student government who took the initiative to make a fund for our fellow students. Several other students and I have donated. I truly believe that we as students are trying to look out for each other.

And while I think this is important, I do not think that it should be our job as students to financially support other students. The colleges and universities really should be doing their job to support all of their students to the best of their ability amid the Coronavirus outbreak.

Streets emptied, schools, businesses and restaurants closed, and hospitals overwhelmed. Thousands of jobs lost and stocks plummeting. Air traffic/airlines halted and vacations canceled.

My parents have told me that they remember after 9/11 that the stocks were low, everyone was scared, businesses were closed, and air travel stopped. The closest thing to this unprecedented situation in recent history (our parents’ lifetime) is 9/11 because it was so global. Is this my generation’s 9/11?

Sure, I was alive during 9/11 but I was two years old and really do not remember it in a significant way. But I will certainly remember being sent home from my sophomore year of college due to the Coronavirus outbreak.

Hate seems to be at the forefront of this public health crisis whether it is the media calling Trump a racist for closing travel to and from China before it seemed necessary or people blaming China for this crisis. The truth of the matter is that this is a global problem now and no one is to blame.

Extremist groups, too, seem to react with more hate than ever, using Coronavirus as a weapon. White supremacists claim if they contract the virus that they will do everything in their power to spread the virus like putting their saliva on the doorknobs of African American, Jewish, and other minority group neighborhoods.

Domestic abusers are using the virus as a way to keep their significant other isolated and women’s shelters are closing due to the risk of the virus spreading. These women are hurting and they have absolutely no where to go.

The fact that hate in the world like this exists is alarming. It feels like this crisis is calling attention to the fact that we are still fighting many of the same issues that we were fighting 30 years ago. We have to start working together and spreading love across the globe.

Well wishes to all in this time of global uncertainty - good luck to those navigating online/remote learning, working from home, and ultimately navigating our new normal for hopefully not too much longer. I hope some things will go back to “normal” soon, but for now this is what I make of it all.

I encourage all to write or express how they feel in whatever way they can/feel comfortable. Be heard, stop hate, spread love.