By Robin Bakker
What are your plans for the coronavirus? Do you not care and think that this is a glitch in the simulation and just joke around? Are you staying in Tampa, stocking up and freaking out thinking you will run out of food? Are you trying to get on the fastest flight or car ride home? Or are you stuck in quarantine somewhere?
No matter what plans you have, this is a big deal. Countries and cities are starting to take lockdowns very seriously and it is working. China and Italy are the two main hotspots for this virus and they are already seeing improvement. Slowly, other countries and cities are starting to follow. Even rumors are being spread in the U.S.
Whether these rumors are true or not is up to time to tell. In a press conference Monday afternoon, March 16, President Donald Trump stated that the new rule is to keep group settings to a ten-person maximum. And as of Tuesday morning on March 17, University of Tampa’s President Vaughn decided to move classes online for the rest of the semester.
Now what does that mean for the students and faculty? Some faculty don’t know how to use YouTube or even Blackboard, leaving many to figure out new software and base everything off of the computer. Not to mention, students need to learn how to be a part of an online class. Yes, they already have more of an understanding of technology, but it takes a special mindset to actually listen to lectures, do homework, and take tests and not slack off.
With a lot of students that are most likely going home, and even those who stay on campus or in their off campus place, finding a place to concentrate and study could be hard. It doesn’t help that places like Starbucks and various other common study spots and fast food places with internet access are shutting down dine-in options. And going anywhere outside doesn’t provide internet access.
Even outside of school work, we all are going to have to find things to do. Sports, beaches, restaurants, and more are being closed or cancelled. So, this might be the best time to start new hobbies. Try a new recipe with the minimal food that is left in the stores, read more books, work out around your room, or have a deep clean.
If this truly does last four to five months like Trump said, we are going to have to get used to taking this seriously and being comfortable being stuck in our homes. Canadian scientists do have a vaccine in testing mode, but it could still be a while until we have a functioning, reasonably priced vaccine.
This quarantine situation has its positives and negatives. On the good side, people could finally have enough time to do things around their place and focus on themselves. This could be a good time to find self-love and respect. On the negative, people could go crazy with no social interaction and no purpose to go outside. But, I guess if people in China and Italy can do it, we could too.
Robin Bakker can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org