A TROY student’s perspective on COVID-19

TROY student Claudia Harris discusses the thoughts, fears and hopes running through her and other students' minds during this pandemic.

TROY student Claudia Harris discusses the thoughts, fears and hopes running through her and other students' minds during this pandemic.

While growing up watching movies like “Outbreak” and “Pandemic,” never once did I think that this would become a reality in my lifetime. The COVID-19 coronavirus has taken the world by storm. Sadly, getting things back to normal may be farther away than we think.

My mother is a kindergarten teacher, so I have recently seen some behind the scenes events on how this has affected teachers, communities, cities and students. The school system I grew up in has been proactive in how they have handled it this far. They are handing out free food in a drive-through setting for students.

Having family members and friends who are medically fragile, seeing the recommended precautions and taking them seriously for the safety of not only myself but others is important.

The focus on the coronavirus has mostly been placed on the deaths and panic of this pandemic. There is great concern for the overall effects on public health, the workplace and the economy.

As a college student who has never taken online classes before, the adjustment has been a difficult one.

I am a junior, and only have one year left at TROY, so it has been bittersweet knowing I am not able to be in Troy spending time with friends, being on campus or making more memories to one day look back on.

However, I think we should continue to listen to the state and local leaders and public health officials in order to reduce exposure and slow the spread of the virus.

Meanwhile, the coronavirus situation is affecting everyone. TROY has a large international student population that is feeling the effects of travel limitations among others.

“I think that this virus is very serious, yet many people are not aware of that,” said Michael Zhang, a computer science major from Fushun, Liaoning, China. “So far, this virus hasn’t done anything bad to me. [But] as an international student, I am graduating this semester and my parents won’t be able to travel and attend.”

Students are adjusting to the transition to online classes in a variety of ways.

“The coronavirus is scary and puts a lot into perspective for us. It makes me realize to be grateful to be busy, for good health and the people in my life,” said Taylor Johnson, a secondary collaborative education major from Auburn. “Although it can be a boring time, it’s also such a bittersweet time to stop, take a moment and listen to God during the simple yet chaotic times of our daily routines.”

Other students have been affected on a personal level.

“The coronavirus has affected me personally because I have a compromised immune system, an autoimmune disease” said Mackenzie Martin, a communications major from Prattville. “Some people may take this situation [lightly], but for me this is real. I have tried to stay positive and take a walk each day to get some fresh air. Getting through this is all about your mindset. You’ve got to focus on what you can control. I can control how I spend my time and my view on everything.”