April 16, 2020

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

I had plans to go to Oklahoma for part of the week to spend time with friends and then come back and stay in Austin for the second part and explore the area as well as take a few day trips to places like San Antonio. All of my plans were cancelled. I ended up staying in my apartment and not doing anything because I knew that even though we weren’t in shelter in place, it was the smartest thing to do.

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

I was not surprised. I am from California and all my friends and family there had everything that Austin is doing get implemented a week before we did. It definitely helped me mentally prepare for the fact that I would have to do online school. However, I was still disappointed that my studies were shifted online and my extracurriculars were all cut short.

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

I will still be at my off campus apartment. I am grateful that this is not going to be changing through the end of the semester.

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

My experience has been not good. None of my classes meet on a consistent basis. This means that I am mostly on my own for getting work done. I have struggled with focus, time management, and my productivity is super low. It’s hard because my study space is NOT my apartment and that is where I am not forced to do my work and tests. I do feel that some of my professors are more understanding than others but its definitely going to affect my grades for the semester. I have tried to make it better by doing online study sessions with friends so we are all accountable for our work, but it’s not the same and it’s not a replacement for my life before.

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

It has impacted my life in every way. I have only left the house to walk around my apartment complex or go to the store. I saw friends that I do not live with a few times and I immediately felt guilty after and have since stopped doing that. It has affected my daily routine because I do not have to get up and drive to school anymore which has caused me to slack off and not be as productive in the mornings. It has impacted my mental and physical health because I do not have my usual outlets like the gym or club sports. I also do not work anymore.

How worried are you about getting the virus?

I’m not that worried because I know I am doing everything I can to lower the risks. I do have a heightened anxiety when I go to the store because there are many people that do not look like they are taking this seriously and their carelessness could impact my health. I am now more cautious when I am in the store because of the virus

Do you know anyone who has gotten COVID-19?

No I do not

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

I am staying in. I spend my days trying to focus on work and watching TV. It is difficult to find ways to “pass the time,” so I have taken a lot of naps because there isn’t anything better to do.

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

I only go out to the store and I only go once every 2 weeks. It’s noticeably more crowded but I do not think there is a large difference in regards to safety. I have seen some people with masks but not as many as I think there should be. Workers at Walmart did not have masks or gloves which I found to be surprising.

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

It’s hard to find hope. I know deep down this will end but right now, I don’t see that happening any time soon.