COVID Diary by Sean Donovan
As of right now, it has been just over a year since the world as a whole was affected by COVID-19. There have been a lot of changes that have all come very rapidly, and everyone’s lives have been in the middle of these changes. It is hard to not be affected by all of this at some point. In my experience, my emotional baggage and my responsibilities have all accumulated throughout this year, and are now coming to a boiling point.
While the world stopped in early 2020, the United States hasn’t had more than a few weeks of mass-isolation. Even then, there were plenty of people who saw the outbreak as a chance for cheap flights and vacations with more elbow room. A high school friend of mine even told me that he was going to take advantage of everyone’s fear of going anywhere in order to seize the most out of his upcoming vacation.
I initially didn’t know what to think of it all. I was visiting my parents for spring break, and ended up staying there all summer instead of at my apartment. Just like everyone else, I had plans and I had things I wanted to get done. I had just planned a week’s worth of live shows for my band, and to think that those dates could be cancelled for something that was “just as dangerous as the flu” felt like my effort was being rewarded with punishment.
I did enjoy my extended stay with my parents. They live in New York State, and so I don’t get to casually visit them on the weekends. My sister is a student at The College of William and Mary in Virginia, and was also home for her spring break. It felt remotely like old times again, like we were back in high school and still all lived under the same roof.
The struggle of the pandemic for me was not in my relationships with my family necessarily, but with the online academics. I have always been a hands on learner. I don’t take in lectures well, even when I am taking notes. With the end of the semester being online, and the next semesters to come looking that way too, I knew I had my work cut out for me.
A large reason why I chose to come to Tri-C was because the RAT program had such good facilities for recording music, and the expensive software needed to edit music was just a trip to the computer lab away. Once Ohio started firming up guidelines around the pandemic, it was looking more and more like the reason I came to this school would be taken from me. Through no one’s fault, of course, but it has been a large source of my struggles.
Two semesters later, and I still struggle with online learning. It is easy for a place of work to see a gap in a student’s schedule where an asynchronous class would go and ask them to come in. It’s easy for a student like myself to overcommit to people when, on paper, I have several classes with no meeting times. I know myself enough to know I need a schedule and a routine, which has been out of balance since spring of 2020. Though I have a good support system, the challenges of modern academia are still strong and real.