The Beginning of My COVID-19 Experience
In order to document my entire experience during the pandemic, I would like to talk about when I first heard about the Coronavirus and how it impacted the rest of my semester at UMW. Thinking back I don’t remember people talking about it until the beginning/middle of March when places started to close and the numbers of infected increased. To be honest, when I went home for Spring Break around February 29 I knew nothing about the Coronavirus. It wasn’t until spring break was over and I returned to campus when people started to talk about it more and more. In the beginning, I felt very ignorant about what was going on because I literally had no idea how serious it was until UMW and other institutions announced that they were canceling in-person classes.
To be honest, I didn’t think that UMW was going to cancel in-person classes because at the time I didn’t think the Cornavirus was a big deal. I thought it was similar to the Swine Flu outbreak in 2009. In fact, I remember two of my professors off the first day back from Spring break, Monday, March 9, 2020, when they warned us that the University told them that they needed to start thinking about how they might move their classes online. When these two professors made these warnings I remember thinking yeah right that’s not going to happen! How wrong was I?
On March 11, 2020, was when UMW decided to move to online classes they said that it was only going to be temporary and that we would be back on campus at the beginning of April. As a result, I decided to stay in Virginia with my boyfriend because it was only supposed to be a few weeks. However, that was definitely not the case! By March 17, almost a full week since the University announced the temporary transition they announced that remote education was going to be a permanent thing. At this point, I was heartbroken because that meant that all of the fun spring events at UMW were going to be canceled! While I was sad, at the same time, I knew that this was a good thing because it was ultimately going to keep us all safe.
In my opinion, many UMW students felt this way. However, Matthew Crawford, a recent UMW graduate, said it best in an article published on The Blue & Gray Press’ website. In this article, Crawford said, “I think I am staying positive by remembering that the world needs me to sacrifice this time at UMW, and I hope I am making a difference by staying home.”
My COVID-19 Puppy
After UMW announced its closure I decided to stay in Fredericksburg and move in with my boyfriend, Andrew. This made my transition to online learning a lot easier because of the support Andrew provided. Another thing that made this change easier was Andrew and I decided we wanted to get a puppy.
On March 18, Andrew and I went to a local pet store and ended up adopting a 4-month old male Miniature Dachshund. When we went to the pet store we weren’t expecting to bring a puppy home. However, we instantly fell in love with him. After filling out all the paperwork this puppy was ours and it was exciting!
Once Andrew and I left the pet store with our new puppy we were trying to come up with names for him. As soon as we got back into the car the song Blu by Jon Bellion came on. This song was one that Andrew and I loved and we felt that title, Blu was the perfect name for our new puppy!
Adopting Blu was one of the best decisions that Andrew and I made during Quarantine. Blu made this tough experience fun and very entertaining. Additionally, Blu became my “classmate” and he helped me get through the rest of the semester.
Family Time During COVID-19
At the beginning of April, I ended up going home to spend some time with my family in New York State. It was great to see my family and spend time with them. In fact, I was able to celebrate my birthday with my family and introduce them to Blu. Also, while I was home my family decided to have a “Family Porch Portrait” taken.
Back to Virginia
After my visit to New York, I went home to Virginia to finish the semester and start working for the summer. Finding a museum internship for the summer was impossible because museums were shut down due to COVID. Before everything shut down I had applied to over fifteen internships and all of them were canceled for the summer. This was really disappointing but meant I had to find a job. Fortunately, I was able to keep my library job at Mary Washington’s library. Most of the time I was able to work remotely on projects for Special Collections and University Archives. The project that I worked on this summer was editing materials for HIST 298 Omeka website featuring materials from the Michael Mello Collection.
In addition to working at the library, I babysat a few days a week but eventually got a job painting dorm rooms on campus. This was a great experience because I had never painted before and really enjoyed doing it.
In addition to working this summer, I still managed to have fun! In June and July, I worked on my video game skills. However, they are still nonexistent. I read a few books, listened to a great podcast on Conspiracy Theories, and watched a lot of movies! I did some baking here and there and perfected my peanut butter cookie recipe.
In July when Virginia moved into Phase 3 Andrew’s and my favorite place opened its doors to customers. This place happens to be RUSH Hour Live Escape Games in the Spotsylvania Town Center. This business is an example of one that has done an incredible job adapting to COVID-19! They take the time to sanitize everything in the rooms and require people to wear masks. While it is not the same as it was before COVID it’s new normal that we have gotten used to.
It is safe to say that COVID-19 has definitely impacted everyone and has made the future even more unknown! With that being said I am hopeful that things will continue to get better.