“Wait – is this seriously happening?”

By Ana Gonzales
Student, South Mountain Community College

It’s been exactly one week that the reality of this virus really hit me. Sure I heard about it and somewhat kept up with it since it broke out in Wuhan, China. But China is far and so is Italy, where they did a major quarantine. Then it popped up in the states.

I remember when the first case was documented here; someone at ASU who had recently traveled. But it’s just one case. Until it multiplied and numbers have continued to rise daily.

First, spring break was extended for everyone and of course that was a “woohoo” moment. Second, on-campus classes were moved entirely online – still, “I can work with that.” Third, I received a text message from a friend, who also works in the food and beverage industry, alerting me of the Governor’s decision to shut down high risk places. Immediately I texted my manager who informed me to read the email that was just sent out. Our Governor decided to take precautions and announce shut downs. Dine-in restaurants, bars, gyms, theaters, and more have been temporarily closed until further notice – “wait, is this seriously happening?”  Without warning, from one hour to the next, the restaurant I work at closed its doors. Me: A single mom without a means of bringing money home is now left in serious panic.

Wow, it’s only been one week? Everything happened so fast yet it seems like I’ve been home for at least two weeks. I haven’t sat down to really make a timeline until now. As a student, I can’t say this has been difficult. I say that because I already had some classes online and, well, campus is far from home anyway. Honestly, it was sometimes challenging having to coordinate being at school then rushing to pick up my son on time from his school. I’m hoping schools don’t decide to close the semester and make us repeat it because that will be hard to digest. Ick! The hardest thus far, has been losing my income. I don’t want to worry too much as it will get anxiety and panic rolling and our nation has enough of that. I’m good with money and I am not a frivolous spender. But, it is the uncertainty of how long this will carry on alongside with what I’ll do when food and my savings run out? 

Cons about this “stay at home” situation (besides the already mentioned) – missing friends and family time, outings with my son, cancelling of future trips, people dying globally, I worry about the homeless population. 

Pros – family time! I see more people out on neighborhood streets than ever before. It is a chance for couples and families to reconnect, I get to sit down and soak in the sun (previously a luxury), there is more communication between family members and friends, and I get to cuddle my growing son a whole lot more. 

I haven’t, yet, hit the “I’m bored or I have so much free time to do whatever I want” mark. I have enough to keep myself busy. I just have to start on a routine. The sleeping in is making my daylight shorter – the least of my problems. Optimism is key! 🙂

Insta: @SMCCHistory
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