COVID-19: The State of the Students

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Remember the days of staying home from school because you weren’t feeling well? Sometimes having to convince your parents you’re actually sick to get some well-deserved rest. Well, 2020 has flipped that narrative on its head providing something that could only be out of a movie.  

The 2011 film Contagion told the story of a lethal airborne virus that kills within days. As the government and medical community races to find a cure and control public panic, ordinary people are struggling as society begins to fall apart. (Rotten Tomatoes) The Coronavirus tells a slightly different story, however this global pandemic we have been talking about for only months has finally hit Cuyahoga County and everyone is wondering when this will all end. 

According to the World Health Organization the Coronavirus (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by new virus. The disease is said to cause respiratory illness similar to the flu and bring on symptoms like coughing, fever, and in severe cases trouble breathing. The disease is spread primarily through direct contact with an infected person when they cough or sneeze. Also, when a person touches surfaces or objects that has the virus on it and then touches their mouth, eyes, or nose. In Ohio there are currently over 1400 confirmed cases with 123 ICU admissions, 344 total hospitalizations and 25 deaths, only 3 in Cuyahoga County. (Ohio Department of Health/  

On March 30th, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine declared a State of Emergency due to the virus and made the decision to close all K-12 schools through May 1st. Prior to that, closings took place for public and private universities and colleges around the United States. Ultimately, DeWine issued a “Stay at Home” order that will stay in effect until April 6th . The order urges citizens to stay home in self-quarantine and practice social distancing in order to decrease spread of the virus. The order allows you to leave home for essential needs but if you’re simply needing to take a walk that is fine also. However, the order has led to the closing of bars, restaurants, gyms, and other non-essential locations. Groups in any size are asked to physically distance themselves and encouraged to refrain from any unessential activities during this time. 

Cuyahoga Community College quickly responded to Governors declaration issuing information on the symptoms and prevention of COVID-19 but also suspending all international and domestic travel for staff and students. Later the college made the decision to transition to online learning postponing face to face classes until March 23rd allowing faculty to prepare for remote instruction. Classes that had originally been taught online continued as scheduled following spring break. As of March 23rd, all college operations outside of Public Safety, Plant Operations, and key administrative functions have been performed remotely. All on-campus student services and classes have been suspended and access to Tri-C buildings will be restricted to staff who are involved in areas previously mentioned. Currently, all classes and services are provided via online and phone.  

The student response around the world offered some humor within this troubling situation. Many students upset about their transitions to online classes. Some students questioning if they would even graduate due to the virus and self-quarantine. Even more wondering how they would even make it home from their college or university because of the lack of funds.  

Sites like Twitter offered a lighter side to the issue. 

“Start my first day at da crib university and I’m dropping out” – @gregribin17. 

 “tbh….i don’t like Da Crib University and i would like to transfer :)”- @ChynnaConnor. 

Just a few tweets from students making fun of returning home from college to take their classes online. 

Millennials maybe taking the situation a little less serious than the others, but in this troubling time it is very important that everyone stays updated and informed about COVID-19. In the United States there are over 121,000 confirmed cases of Coronavirus, the most in the world. Currently there is no vaccine and won’t be one for 15 to 18 months according to NPR. During self-quarantine you should stay inside, not having visitors, and stay 6 feet away from others within your home or anywhere you go. You can also protect yourself and help prevent the spread of the virus by doing the following: 

– Wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub 

– Cover your nose and mouth with tissue or cough and sneeze into your bent elbow 

– Avoid contact with anyone who states they are or appears sick 

– Stay at home away from others in your household if you feel sick 

In addition, if you’re already feeling sick please call your PCP before arrival to any hospital or emergency care facility. Also remember to avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. (World Health Organization) We as a world, as a state, city, and community must stay united in the fight to restore the natural balance of the world. Which includes going to class, work, and simply having fun with our friends and family. This self-quarantine time can be used to get that well-deserved rest or even learning to plan for future unplanned events and natural disasters.  

Tri-C and The State of Ohio are committed to its students and citizens. Visit for more updates and information and for more helpful facts and information on this growing virus. If you’re up for it take a look at 2011’s Contagion starring Kate Winslet and Matt Damon. 

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