March 31, 2020

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

Originally, I had planned to visit my family during spring break because I haven’t seen them in a long time, however, after the coronavirus had started spreading, I decided to stay home. I really miss my family, but I rather keep them safe especially since some of them have pre-existing medical conditions.

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

To be honest, I wasn’t all that shocked since UT and other colleges went online. However, I won’t lie, I am a bit worried about how it will affect my grades since I have never taken an online course. However, I understand that St. Edward’s going online is to ensure that everyone stays healthy and lowers the risk of spreading the coronavirus.

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

I will be living with my mom, but I will be unable to see my dad’s side of the family.

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

Since my classes have gone online, I don’t have to travel from Elgin to Austin every day, which is roughly a 45 minute to one hour drive (depending on traffic). I get to sleep in more since all I have to do is complete my assignments on time.

However,  I worry a lot more about my grades since some of the classes rely on group work. I have never taken an online course before so I’m not sure how it works, which has been my constant worry. My biggest concern is that I won’t be able to complete tasks on time or miss an assignment because, at the beginning of the semester, Canvas didn’t show me my assignments and hid my courses. Also, since my siblings and mother are staying home from work and school, I won’t have a distraction-free place that will allow me to focus on my assignments.

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

During the weekends, I work at H-E-B as a cashier and bagger. I witnessed first-hand on all the precautions H-E-B has taken on protecting their employees and customers. Recently, my managers installed plastic screens in front of my register and even behind the register for safety reasons. H-E-B lets in a few people at a time inside the store and placed red stickers on the floors to show customers where to stand for social distancing purposes.

Even though, I am grateful to H-E-B for working so hard to protect their employees and fellow Texans, I still don’t feel safe enough to go to work. Every day I go to work, I am risking my health and my family’s. I love working at H-E-B, but I’m scared that I will get the virus and bring it home.

How worried are you about getting the virus?

I am very worried, lol, especially when I’m at work. After handling money or accidentally touching other people’s hands, I put hand sanitizer on. I used hand sanitizer so much that my hands are always dry. I flinch whenever people sneeze or cough near me and I feel bad about it, but I can’t help it. However, my biggest concern is that if I get the coronavirus, I will spread it to my family. My mother has pre-existing health conditions and I use to have asthma (I don’t rely on inhalers anymore), so if either of us gets it, then the effects can be devastating.

Do you know anyone who has gotten COVID-19?

No, but there has been a confirmed case in Elgin, which is raising some concerns for locals.

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

I don’t go out, unless it’s for work. I usually spend my time playing Overwatch, watching TV, and playing with my rabbit, Jack. Now that spring break is over, I focus on finishing my school assignments.

Are you going out? Where do you go and what is it like?

No, unless it’s for work. Whenever, I leave the house I try to be careful and distance myself from people, so I would say going out makes me nervous because you never know who has the virus or not because people themselves don’t even know.

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

My family and the future. When the coronavirus threat is gone, I hope to see my family and friends again. During the summer,  I plan to go to the beach with my friends  (however, if the coronavirus is still around, it’ll be canceled). Originally, I was going to see BTS in May, but the concerts have been postponed, so I hope I will get to see them in the near future.

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

I feel fear, but also hope. I fear for people that are greatly affected by the coronavirus and for my family because I want us to get out of this pandemic safe and healthy. I have hope that this pandemic will end soon so that everything will go back to normal. I also feel angry because some people are not taking this pandemic seriously. I understand that people around my age don’t take it seriously because they’ll be able to recover it from this, but they could potentially spread the virus to those who might not be as lucky.