April 16, 2020

Did you change your spring break plans because of the virus? From what to what?

Yes I did have to change my Spring break plans due to the virus. I work downtown at the Bob Bullock Texas History Museum. I had planned to be scheduled for more hours during my week of spring Break. I know, the spring break every senior dreams of! However, with the virus and mandates stating only 10 people allowed in one room the museum shut its doors to the public which meant no extra hours.

How did you feel when you were informed the remainder of the semester would be held online?

When I read the email that told us we were going online I remember feeling utter disbelief. It’s one thing to hear on the news about closures and the effects the virus was having on businesses and communities, but its another thing to actually feel the affects yourself. I remember immediately calling my friends and my mom just going over how this wasn’t how our senior year was supposed to end.

Where will you be living while courses are held online? Is this a change from usual?

During he semester I lived on campus in the pavilions, since the school was closing that meant I had to move out. I am now living in my uncle’s house in Northwest Austin. I was supposed to move in after graduation in May, but those plans had to be expatiated a little.

What has been your experience with moving classes online? What’s good? What’s not so good?

Going on-line has been kind of weird. My courses are a mix of lecture and discussion based. For lectures my professors use Panapto and its been nice being able to stop to take notes or rewinding the video if I missed something. One thing that is kind of strange or sad about being online has to do with my fine arts classes, choir and conducting. The fact that we are attempting to do a virtual choir gives me joy that I am still able to make music, but it’s bittersweet not being able to sing together with my friends around me.

How has the virus (and the precautions taken to prevent it spreading) impacted your daily life?

Daily life for me was always school, work, and friends. With the virus, I’d say 1.5 of that is still left. The museum is closed until further notice, so no work or daily commute via public transportation. My friends and I still try and stay in touch as much as we can through our multiple group chats and video calls, but our usual movie nights and get-togethers have been postponed.

How worried are you about getting the virus?

I’m not to worried about getting the virus myself. I’d be more worried if it was still the winter (that’s when I usually get under the weather). That being said, I am worried about my friends and family members who are immunocompromised and have health issues.

Do you know anyone who has gotten COVID-19?

I don’t know anybody personally, however a friend of mine has family in Spain who was tested positive.

Are you staying in? What are you doing to pass the time?

Yes, I am staying in. I’ve had a lot of school work and reports to keep myself occupied most of the time. Other than that I have been helping my uncle do some spring cleaning around his house, catching up on some Netflix, and finishing my graduate applications.

What is giving you hope and/or strength right now?

My friends and I have made plans to go have adventures in late summer/early fall. We want to hit as many state parks and trails as we can. Having these plans gives us a sense of something to look forward to and be excited about being able t be together again. Those plans might have to be pushed back depending on the way society and this virus looks in the next few moths, but for now they are our light at the end of the tunnel.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about what you’re feeling or experiencing right now?

This whole experience just feels surreal. This wasn’t how I expected the last few moths of my senior year to go at all. I imagined weekends on the water, shopping for dresses to wear at commencement, adventures to take bluebonnet pictures, and getting ready for my last choir concert. Instead I sit at home and worry about my dad who has to go into medical facilities because he does installations for medical equipment, my brother who works in an airport, and my grandmother who is 94. While talking to my grandma she mentioned that this will pass eventually and she’s right. This will pass, but not knowing when or how long it will take for a sense of normalcy to return is hard.