UPDATE 3/19/2020- Classes are canceled until this Fall.
From now until April 5th my classes will be moved online due to the coronavirus. If you don’t know about the coronavirus then you either live on Antarctica (the only continent without it) or just don’t pay attention to anything ever. Either way, it’s a huge pandemic and as of right now is in 43 states. That will change so look here to stay up to date on the whereabouts of this new virus. Since it has traveled so quickly and no one knows what it is or what can happen tons of things have been canceled. Broadway shows, Disneyland, Coachella, travel bans, campuses, March Madness, etc. My campus has also moved classes online for now.
There have been so many viewpoints presented in the media and lots of people are negating decisions or fighting online. As a college mental health blogger, I figured I should take a stance and explain what I think from everything I’ve seen.
First of all your mental health matters. You are allowed to feel nervous, worried, anxious, etc. I have seen a mix of nervousness from people and others who claim everyone is overreacting. Whatever you are feeling is valid. This is a new thing and personally, I am nervous. I am usually nervous during flu season because I hate getting sick so I already had my hand sanitizer stocked (a big bottle in my car, one in my room, one in my backpack and one in my purse.) The important thing to remember is that you need to be informed, but constantly looking into it may be too much and that’s okay. Wash your hands and focus on how you can stay productive while being at home.
College is my happy place. I love going to classes, seeing my friends, staying at my place, and all-around being on my own. This is the case for many and that is being taken away. It’s hard deciding if I stay home where the virus is or go to my apartment at school where the virus is also nearby. Both options seem as if I’ll be close to it, so making the right choice is difficult.
Having class canceled is also difficult for many other students. International students may not be able to fly home or would be safer here. Moving within a day is close to impossible and with nowhere to go many are struggling. College is not only for middle and upper-class families; homeless students attend, students who rely on on-campus jobs to live to attend, and so many other hard situations. There’s more to this then it may seem at first.
With that being said I do believe moving classes online is the right call. Students come from many diverse backgrounds. Some take care of elders in their homes or children and cannot risk bringing it into their house. Others have previous diseases that have a higher risk of contracting the coronavirus and dealing with harsh symptoms. We need to first look out for our wellbeing and then check in on those around us.
My last thought on everything that has been happening is how everyone has come together. Countries are communicating with one another with the same goal to stop the spread. People are checking in with one another to make sure they are safe and secure in their homes with the proper supplies.
No matter what your situation may be or how difficult the coronavirus has made it, don’t be scared to reach out. We are all able to lend a hand to others. If you attend JMU and for whatever reason need a place to stay please contact me. If there is anything I can do for anyone living in America or overseas please reach out. At the scariest times, humanity has come together and fought as one. Let’s continue to do that and carry that mindset once the virus has calmed down as well.
Take care of one another and be understanding.