On Mar. 12, 2020, the campus of Adrian College was greeted with an email.
A new virus, called COVID-19, had spread across the state of Michigan and made its way to Adrian. To combat this contagious disease, the AC administration decided to postpone in-person classes until March 30. This marked the beginning of the new normal for students: virtual classes, face masks in public, lockdowns, and quarantines.
It’s hard to believe, but almost one year has passed since that pivotal day. Our mindsets and habits have changed. Going outside? Grab your face mask. Having a gathering? Must be less than 10 people and make sure they don’t have any symptoms. I wanted to ask some AC students what they remembered from March 12 of last year and the new habits they formed along the way.
Question 1: Do you remember where you were/what you were doing when you received the email on March 12?
Student 1: “I was doing some homework in my room when I got the email. My first reaction was that I wasn’t surprised. A bunch of other schools already went online at that point and I just assumed we would follow eventually.”
Student 2: “If I remember correctly, I was already at home because the majority of my classes had already been moved online.”
Student 3: “I was at my house on campus talking to one of my roommates when we got the email. I think we might have been watching Grey’s Anatomy
Student 4: “I was with my team at practice and one of my teammates announced that the email came through. That’s how I first knew about it.”
Question 2: At the time, did you think that this transition would only be temporary?
Student 1: “No, I figured the school would be online for the rest of the semester. Just based on what I already saw with the other schools going online before us.”
Student 2: “I thought it might last until the end of the semester, but I never thought it would last over a year.”
Student 3: “I did think it was only going to be temporary because at the time I was debating whether or not to go home or just stay on campus during that time frame before everything got shut down.”
Student 4: “No I didn’t. My mom works in a hospital and she was telling me how bad things were getting at the time. I decided to listen to her firsthand experience instead.”
Question 3: Do you think the college responded well to the pandemic back then and how they’re handling it now?
Student 1: “I think they’re doing the best they can. It’s a virus that easily spreads and after all, we’re a bunch of college students that want to be social. They’re trying their best to mitigate the risk and that’s what matters.”
Student 2: “I don’t think the response was perfect, but I don’t have any major problems with it. It’s important to note that they are dealing with the demographic who have been shown to deal with the illness very well. I also think the fear of something like COVID can be more damaging than the actual illness, and I think the administration did a good job helping everyone keep calm about the pandemic.”
Student 3: “I don’t think that they handled it as well as they could have. It almost felt like they were putting in-person classes before our own safety since they didn’t transition to online learning until the very last second.”
Student 4: “I think they did respond well. I know we were one of the last schools to transition to being online, but the temperature checks and tests that they’re doing now, along with the precautions we take in our face-to-face classes, and sports of course, really made me optimistic.”
Question 4: Do you think another pandemic like this could happen in the future?
Student 1: “I don’t think at this scale. I could see something like the swine flu epidemic a few years back, but I don’t see something of this scale happening again for a while. However, history does like to repeat itself.”
Student 2: “I do because they’ve happened throughout history in different capacities.”
Student 3: “Yes. Anything is possible. I’m not going to rule anything out.
Student 4: “No. I think we have more information to handle things better now. So if there is a similar breakout to this, I think it will be handled better than previously.”
Whether or not you might agree with the students interviewed above, it can be safe to agree that COVID-19 has changed the course of our college experience. The way we interact and learn on this campus has been drastically impacted by the effects of this virus and will continue to disrupt our daily lives for the foreseeable future.