Infecting our Minds


Everybody knows about the coronavirus, Miss Rona, COVID-19, or whatever else you want to call this thing that has changed just about everybody’s life. In the span of a few months, this has become a sweeping global pandemic and the only thing that anybody can talk about.

Starting on Wednesday, March 11, Mercy College decided to hold classes online temporarily. They said it would be just until spring break, and from there on out, we’d be going back to normal. From there, things only got worse. Online classes until spring break turned into the remainder of the semester moving online, and online classes have got to be the very bane of my existence. They are the worst, and anyone who can tolerate them is a hero in my book.

The residence halls announced that we’d be able to stay, and things changed quickly soon after that too. Planning on staying had quickly turned into us needing to be out by March 29. There would be an exemption form, but it was only for rare cases that people would be able to stay.

Perhaps this is dramatic, but getting the news that I’d have to move out of the residence hall and back home felt like my entire world was crumbling down. I haven’t lived at home since the summer after my freshman year, and I didn’t plan on doing it until at least after I graduate.

Living at home is like a personal hell. I know what you’re thinking, and I agree, that was a dramatic statement too, but I’ve grown to be comfortable with the fact that I am a dramatic person.

It’s not the company I’m in that makes living at home so bad, because I actually have a great relationship with my mother, and I love the time I get to spend with my dog and cat. No, it’s not the company. It’s the memories and the loneliness.

After high school, I remained friends with no more than five people from my school. Being at home until September means nothing but sadness for me. I’ve got nothing to do and no one to be with. There’s no one I can call when I want to hang out (after the quarantine, of course), and there’s no one for me to spend my time with. I’ll be stuck inside a majority of the time, surely going crazy.

As I prepare to leave all of my closest friends and return to my lonesome, I can’t help but cry. I stepped into the residence hall the other day to pick something up and returned to my car and I started to cry. I passed my boss and prayed she wouldn’t realize just how distraught I was or am.

For me, it isn’t as simple as moving back home; It’s leaving the people that I cherish most. It’s leaving all four of my jobs, it’s leaving the professors that I actually enjoyed seeing every week.

I’m not going to have the late nights where Nana and I cram to do our history homework, but eventually give up and play Fortnite. There won’t be the early morning shifts at my job, working with my friends while we watch scary videos on YouTube. I’m not going to be planning events for my residents, or even going to those staff meetings that were late as hell on Tuesday nights. My friends and I won’t be quoting TikToks every minute of every day, because we won’t be with each other every minute of every day or any minute of every day for that matter.

I’m moving from a place full of friendships; a place where I feel needed and cared about – to a place where I’ll be experiencing the same depression as before. My only friend in the area works all the time, and we’re supposed to be social distancing anyway. I have a habit of thinking about all the things that went wrong when I was younger, and while I sit in my living room with nothing to do, I know that I’ll be thinking of the things I used to.

I’ve told people that I don’t want to go home, and some of them have told me to suck it up because it’s home and it’s where I grew up. It should be a happy place for me, but the truth is that going home means leaving most of the things that I care about the most. I’ve cried nearly every day at the thought of having to leave this place. So many people dislike residing on campus, but this place is my home.

My heart goes out to all of the seniors that aren’t getting to finish their year as they should, or get to experience all of the events that Mercy puts on for them that senior classes years before loved so much. It also goes out to the freshman whose second semesters are now put on a halt because of this, because this will forever be how their first year was cut short. I really feel for all of the people who live in toxic homes where they do not feel welcomed or safe, who came to live at their college so they could really live their lives. This virus is doing so much more than just infecting people physically, it’s also become a virus in their minds.

If you’re reading this, I beg of you to follow all of the precautions. Wash your hands, don’t touch your face, stay inside throughout this entire quarantine unless you really have to leave. If you think you’re infected, it’s as simple as staying away from other people to not spread this disease. So many people have died from it already, and so many people’s lives have been shaken by it. The reality of it is that it is strictly the responsibility of every single individual to handle it. If people aren’t following what they’re being told to do, this will only spread more and more, and I for one would like my summer back and to not have to worry about everyone in my life getting sick.