Written March 23, 2020.
COVID-19 is a respiratory illness caused by a coronavirus. The COVID-19 outbreak was first identified in December 2019 in Wuhan, China and has since been found in nearly every country.
The World Health Organization has declared this a pandemic. I have never experienced this kind of fear and panic. It started with a few cases and has soared to about 350,000 coronavirus cases as of today, March 23rd. It’s unsettling that a disease that started 7,000 miles away from the United States is having such a drastic impact on our country and the rest of the world.
The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting my personal life by halting all my daily activities – school, work, and the gym. Massachusetts, where I live, has prohibited public gatherings of 25 people or more. It feels like each day the situation in my home state is getting worse. Cases of COVID-19 are rising daily. It is urgent that we all participate in social distancing by standing 6 feet away from each other and even avoid seeing others.
I work 40 hours per week at AAA and attend Bridgewater State University full-time. I live alone, so not being able to work or see people will be difficult. Bridgewater State University had to shut down and adapt by moving to online classes for the remainder of the semester. It will be stressful trying to focus on schoolwork and finding a stable source of income to cover expenses. I filed for unemployment and was unsuccessful -the online procedure requires that you be without work and income for a certain period of time before you can apply for this benefit.
Preparing to stay at home has been difficult because many stores lack the food and resources that we need. “Panic buying” has started – if you go to Costco or Walmart you may find yourself waiting in line just to go in. Items like toilet paper, water bottles, medicine, and alcohol are harder to find.
In the right conditions this virus can spread rapidly and, in some cases, become life-threatening. We toned to protect each other by staying home and practicing sanitization like frequent hand washing. Everyone’s lives have been impacted by this devastating virus.
While many are out of jobs, this is a time to relax and take care of things at home. Bond with family members in your own household. Organize shelves and do a little bit of cleaning. With the extra time I have available now, I play with my dog and I started painting my house. I was able to paint a few rooms, organize shelves, and clean the house. Working full-time and being a full-time student does not give me a lot of time at home to take care of things, so one positive thing about this pandemic is that has given me more time at home. We don’t know when the COVID-19 pandemic will slow down or go away, but for now it is best to stay home and participate in social distancing.