Currently, the state of Illinois is going through an uproar of events due to the coronavirus epidemic. It is unfortunate that many people are affected by it, in particular college students.
As a current college student at DePaul University, I am witnessing my peers have to rush out of their dorms and maneuver with new class instruction methods. DePaul took their own emergency precautions and made the decision to have finals week done remotely. Yesterday, I received a newsletter telling me to avoid the potential spread of COVID-19 by participating in social distancing and that all dormitories must be vacant by March 21st.
Even though it did not apply to me, it was still overwhelming to read. This puts more stress on students that do not live in the city. A few of my classmates either live in the suburbs or came from out of state to attend DePaul. Some of them were freshmen.
Students aren’t the only ones affected — professors are as well. Two of my professors expressed to us that they had specific deadlines to move their classes online. Many professors might teach one class, but they teach different sections of that class.
In my neighborhood, I have not seen much change. Some stores are adjusting their hours to combat the large crowds and ensure that items are being stocked more frequently. Thankfully, the grocery stores are open and employees are trying to maintain stock to their best abilities.
However, when the media shows us how people are responding to it, their actions are surreal and, in my opinion, unnecessary. I understand that this is a shock to all, but you still have to take in consideration for others too. Selfishness can be a good thing, but in this matter, it was very bad.
Target and Walmart stores have been low on critical resources, mainly of water, hand sanitizer, and toilet paper. I can only ask, ‘Is it really that serious?’ On the other hand, I do not know what others’ state of mind is. All I can hope is that whatever they do have, is that they give to others who are in need of the same. We need to be not only agents for ourselves, but for others too.
Lastly, I have friends who not only attend college, but are parents and work. This combination is hectic and causes friction thanks to coronavirus.
The thought of knowing each day you work could be your last is bothersome. Student parents are looking at alternative methods, since many daycares are closing. Parents have to call off work because they have no one to watch their child. Nowadays, hiring nannies is very questionable due to past cases of child abuse and neglect. A bill should be put in place for student parents to have childcare because that will offer some relief and show children are a priority.
As weeks go by, events continue to run at a break-neck speed and I can feel the rush and anticipation myself. All I can say is this is a major bump in the road, but life is an unpredictable journey. Continue to be positive, check in with your loved ones, and be woke….and don’t forget to vote.
Jane Andrews is a student at DePaul University and a member of Young Invincibles’ Young Advocates Program.