September Diary Entries

Ashley Cruz

Diary Entry 1

For me, the coronavirus greatly affected my college experience because the outbreak happened during my first semester on campus. At first, I underestimated the danger and potential, jokingly comparing it to the bubonic plague, but not really thinking it would spread out of control. I even already had plans set to go to a party after spring break ended, but unfortunately, campus closed over the course of spring break. Once the virus broke out in the US, it reached such an effect that entire spaces in New York City were deserted, which was baffling to me, as I never imagined such places could ever be empty. Even places like Times Square were empty, which really drew attention to the severity of the outbreak. During the outbreak, I also happened to be in the process of moving houses which caused lots of stress for my mom and I,  as we had to move out of my old house by a certain date and I was worried I wouldn’t be able to find a new house to move into in time due to the virus still putting everyone into an initial panic state. Additionally, everything was shutting down and in the city there was a curfew and we weren’t supposed to leave the house except to buy necessities which put more pressure on my mom and I to move quickly. As everything in New York shut down, so too did the state borders for a time, which affected me because the person who was supposed to drive me to campus to collect my things after the campus closed was across state borders and I wasn’t able to get my things until May, a whole two months later.

Diary Entry 2

            Before the campus closed, classes were originally delayed. I had bought a bus ticket back to Oneonta and rescheduled it to accommodate for the delay, but shortly afterwards the campus and many city services closed, and I was unable to then get a refund for my now useless ticket. During the pandemic, online classes were a stressful and difficult transition. As a result of my things being stuck on campus since I couldn’t get a ride back, I didn’t have a computer and had to resort to buying a new one in order to do online classes at all. In terms of day to day living in the city, businesses had limited occupancy and long lines at best and at worst were completely shut down (which happened to many). Among the shut down businesses were malls, where I did lots of shopping normally but couldn’t go to until state borders reopened which allowed me to go into New Jersey malls since the ones in New York City were still closed. In addition to daily life disruption, many people lost their lives. Some people I knew passed away too, unfortunately, including my mom’s boss, the lady who my mom took dry cleaning to, my uncle’s best friend, and even a lady who baked a cake for me in daycare and her husband died. In the city, crime rate also increased during the pandemic as many people lost their jobs and faced economic hardship.

Diary Entry 3

            Over the summer of the pandemic, things did not go as I had originally planned. I had wanted to do veterinary work to get experience and improve my resume for entering vet school. However, because of the virus, nobody was accepting volunteers and I was stuck doing basically nothing. Most recently, I had applied to volunteer at a local shelter back at Oneonta which I wanted to work at once I returned to campus for the fall. I wound up not working there though, as I felt concerns about the stability of my return to campus. This concern proved to be accurate as shortly after returning to campus, coronavirus cases broke out and the campus sent most of its students home. The remaining students, including myself, were kept in a two week on-campus lockdown. After the two weeks passed and the campus reopened, I didn’t reapply to the shelter, as I still held concerns about the campus maybe not reopening again in the spring and I didn’t want to work at the shelter for only a month or two before quitting on them and not returning. When the campus lockdown was put in place, campus dining halls closed down, which put lots of stress on the staff who suddenly had to figure a way to still feed the remaining students and for the first day there were no vegan or vegetarian options. This meant that I, a vegan, had to order from outside the campus so I would be able to eat that day. The lockdown also affected me because I had a dentist appointment for my braces I needed to go to but I had to reschedule because of the lockdown. Additionally, after the lockdown was lifted, I encountered a second issue since I had to once again return home since my braces broke and while I was home getting them fixed, the campus informed me they were going to move me into a different dorm hall to save on maintenance costs. I was worried that I wouldn’t get back in time to move out, but thankfully I was able to get back in time.