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COVID-19: A Student's Perspective

By: Rob Beatty ’21

So far, I have yet to use my time inside to create a successful internet business or to begin studying every subject under the sun that I have ever been curious about. I have contributed my share to Uber Eats by ordering Café Colombia and if going down a million YouTube holes before finding videos on how Medieval peasants brushed their teeth is studying something new, then sure that’s what I've been up to. There isn’t a different, good side to all of this or a solution, but with will power and some understanding teachers this has so far been a bearable isolation.

My day begins anywhere from seven in the morning to two in the afternoon. The only thing that centers this sporadic sleeping time is my one class that still assigns stuff due before noon. I blame the professor’s two young children for keeping her on such a rigid sleep schedule.

If I’m not scrambling to finish homework due in the morning, as if time means anything right now, I generally stay in bed to watch something. I’ve learned a light and long sitcom is the best way to go during this. “That 70’s Show” or “Frasier”; something that lasts awhile and isn’t too depressing you go nuts. My mom chose her time in quarantine to start reading “The Tattooist of Auschwitz” and unsurprisingly has taken a break from it until she is allowed to leave the house.

The next few hours are spent online, doing homework and taking breaks to try and learn some new songs on guitar. I hate learning other people’s songs, but like I said, productivity. And an attempt to not annoy the neighbors.

My main job has been shut down and as many of you probably know, unemployment isn’t going to answer my call anytime soon. Thankfully, my part time job at Salem State has transitioned to online work and I have been able to continue on with that during the pandemic.

Nothing about this is good. Many people are facing worse. I am incredibly thankful for the professors that reach out to see if we’re okay, for the teacher that sets a funny background during his Zoom lecture, for the guy below my apartment that plays the saxophone outside whenever it’s nice out.

The one piece of advice I can give that I’ve heard is this: For once you don’t have to be a hero by doing something physically dangerous. You are helping the world and being a hero by staying inside.

Maybe you’re like me and have already began looking for extraneous wood around the apartment to begin your new whittling career. Maybe you’ve gotten back into reading and done so much of it you’re bored of it already. There isn’t much of an end to this, mainly because it’s still happening. Work on your homework if you’re capable, record your demos, watch a new show. If we all keep going, we can end this.

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