VCU Globe students respond to COVID-19
Being a college student on a bright and diverse campus, it can be hard to return home abruptly without being able to say goodbye to your friends. It can be hard being home and not being able to go out after months of running around campus, being with friends, sitting in Monroe Park and exploring Richmond. Tired of being home? Try taking up a hobby. That book you’ve been thinking of reading but haven’t had time for? Give it a read.
Remember, social distancing does not mean you can’t call your friends and check up on them. Call a friend and ask how they’re doing, I promise you they’ll appreciate you for it. Find a cool recipe online and try recreating it for you, your family, or friends. If you are with your friends or family, take up some games. I have found board games can get a bit competitive, but that’s what keeps it fun. Get some much needed rest, being a college student is hard, take this time to do a face mask, write, draw, or even just take a few extra naps here or there Go on walks around your neighborhood, make sure you’re staying active to combat any grogginess or laziness. Take up a new show, I have found a new found interest in crime documentaries. As a Globe student, we have the entire world to discover and thanks to the internet, it’s all at our fingertips. There is a whole world to discover Rams!
Being in quarantine has been a life-changing event. And while the initial shock is gone, I am still learning how to adapt. Since moving back home, I am now alone for most of the day. This, combined with social distancing, has led me to feel quite lonely in the past couple of days. However, I've found the importance of finding communities during this time as we are all facing similar challenges.
One common way I've found community is through social media platforms such as Instagram. A lot of my favorite musicians, cooks, and artists have been live streaming from their homes, allowing anyone watching to chat with other viewers. I've also been able to find community through FaceTime or other apps such as Netflix Party. I've noticed that FaceTiming has led to more meaningful conversations amongst my friends as we aren't taking our interactions with each other for granted.
This is implementing a lot of the themes discussed in Globe such as building strong communities, creating meaningful conversations, and finding similarities between each other. Although stressful, I also find this time fascinating as we see an even stronger sense of global and local community highlighted through technology."
So, as we all know life has changed. There is so much we take for granted. Hurry up and wait, isn’t that the saying? Hurry-do all the home improvement projects we all meant to finish. Wait, we have to stay home and do what? People could be doing a lot in their own home, but also there is little to do since we cannot go “out.”
I try not to take anything for granted. Now I really realize what we do take for granted. I miss seeing my family regularly, I miss going out to eat and I miss being in class.
I am an artist in the arts school, and so much of what we do in class is hands on. In our first virtual meeting it was really nice hearing from everyone and talking about the options we had moving forward. Course workload wise, many questions were asked and answered. I have small classes and I am so lucky. I will now be sewing at home. We shall see how that goes…
Myself, and many others have not lived through anything like this before. With all this time to reflect, I think this is a great opportunity for healing and growing my relationships with others. Being at home, I have more time to really focus on self care and so far some of my favorite pastimes are cooking new recipes and figuring out how to workout without equipment from home. I think this experience can teach us to all appreciate the organic experiences we create with one another outside of distractions. When we are busy, we do not realize how categorized and separated we are by activities and interests, and this situation has shown how human we all are. Celebrities, students, dogs and cats are all forced to stay at home right now and it’s a beautiful thing to be connected and appreciate our similarities, rather than differences, as a race. Facetime your friends, write letters to people you are away from, and spend some time journaling! We can’t change anything about it except for the way we choose to react to it. You are not alone and remember that things are temporary.
With the recent outbreak of COVID-19, many students are being affected beyond simply having their classes transition to remote learning. Many enriching experiences, including internship opportunities, jobs, and research programs have recently been cancelled. For example, the National Institutes of Health announced the cancellation of their summer internship program, the U.S. Department of State disbanded the Critical Language Scholarship Program, and VCU has suspended all study abroad programs until fall. These actions are necessary to promote the safety of our communities, but do not detract from the loss of student opportunity—this is a problem technology can't fix.
The question is, how do students move forward from this? With the loss of innumerable rewarding experiences, many students will now simply remain at home. My advice is to make the most of this situation by pursuing that thing that's been on your mind for a long time that you haven't gotten around to. Write that novel you've always wanted to. Make music. Learn a new language. Engage yourself creatively, and push boundaries. We can find meaning from the bleakest of situations, but it takes motivation and inspiration. Don't sit at home and twiddle your thumbs—be a change-maker.
A pandemic has arisen and the United States’ false sense of being ‘untouchable’ blinds us from the fact that we may be just as susceptible as any other country, regardless of socioeconomic standing. This virus has been attacking those who lack hygienic integrity or proper resources. UNICEF states more than 3 billion people lack access to hand washing facilities. Additionally, overcrowded refugee camps have made social distancing extremely difficult as displaced people from Middle Eastern countries convene for food and water distribution. Healthcare systems have fallen victim in war zones, causing millions to be immunocompromised. The UN's Agencies attempt to provide primary care, while major leaders have diverted funding to aid in sanitation programs. However, philanthropists are reluctant to donate, fearing global recession. Economic sanctions imposed by the US or UN hamper relief efforts, leading to financial institutions becoming hesitant to aid relief agencies to avoid legal action. Ultimately, the virus does not care about our age, gender, race, religion, political or social stance. Neither should we. We should only care about what truly defines us: we are all humans with the same basic needs. Only local and global solidarity and compassion can get us past COVID-19.
Staying in touch with others during COVID-19 is something that can seem like the last thing on anyone’s mind in the midst of trying to make sense in a time of uncertainty and change. However, I have found that it is not only important to reach out to people you interact with at school, but it is comforting and serves as a way to enhance human connection. It is easy to get wrapped up in your head, but connecting with others is so beneficial, especially international students in Globe. I decided to reach out to my conversation partner and see how he was doing. We had a nice conversation over the phone, and I think we were mutually happy to hear each other’s voice. He asked if it was possible to stay in touch over the phone during this time and work on his reading skills. With classes resuming virtually we have yet to set a firm time, though I am looking extremely forward to it. It’s crucial to remember that during these times of uncertainty, everyone is struggling in their own way, and reaching out to others is not only positive for your own self but for others as well.
COVID-19. This global pandemic has truly put an emphasis on cleanliness, not only in Richmond but all over the globe! While we come from different cultures with our many languages, practices and religions, we are all being affected whether we like it or not.
‘Wash your hands for 20 seconds!’ ‘Wipe down everything before you touch it’. I concur! Yet, it makes me wonder, isn't this something we should have been engaging in all along? Not just in the midst of COVID-19 but, to stay healthy in general. Shall we look at the glass half full? I’ve decided I can apply this idea of “health first” to different areas of my life. Through maintaining healthy relationships by reaching out to my friends and family during this time of mandated social distancing, not letting my social butterflies of friends be discouraged by this limitation on proximity. Also keeping a sense of structure in my life when it seems there is none. Maintaining the routines I held onto during the semester and pushing to keep my sanity afloat within my academics. COVID-19 has been quite the journey so far to say the least. Yet, it’s good to recognize we are not alone.