By Jackie Champoux
The fact that we are currently living through the coronavirus pandemic of 2020 has not quite hit me yet. It feels as though we are in a dream, or at times more like a nightmare, having essentially no control over my life at the moment.
When I received the email from President Petillo saying that I needed to move out of my dorm by Tuesday, March 17, my stomach dropped.
My now ex-roommate Morgan Luciani said, “When I got the email that we had to leave the dorm I was truly devastated. I know we needed to move out for our own health and safety, but I never thought the coronavirus was going to turn into this.”
It was then that I knew that COVID-19 was not going to disappear within the next week or two. I realized this is a pandemic which will have lasting effects on all aspects of life.
Coming back to my town of Wilmington, Mass., I was very worried about how I would transition to online classes for the rest of the semester. I am not a self-taught student, which is why online classes have never boded well for me.
My brother, Michael, who is one year younger than me, has been enrolled in an online real-estate class since Jan. 1 while living at home. However, both of us doing our remote learning together does spike motivation and help us stay focused.
“Being around other people who are working diligently makes me more motivated to do my work. Being in a quiet house all alone, it is easier for me to get distracted,” he said.
My brother also said he feels having me home now is sometimes a bigger distraction.
“But I think we find a healthy balance of work and play,” he added.
As for my mental health, there are good days and there are bad days.
My father, Mike Champoux, has become worried about our family’s mental health due to the coronavirus.
“Mental health depends on our financial situation. I feel bad for people who lose their jobs or who aren’t getting paid right now because it will take a while for them to get back on their feet, so that will be a lasting effect,” he said.
Personally, I have been taking creative “mind breaks” from my schoolwork often, which helps me break up the day and stay sane. I have been painting, tie-dying and coloring a lot lately. All of these activities stimulate my mind and sooth anxiety.
My mother, Doreen Champoux, is still required to attend her full-time job as she is considered an essential worker, working as a pharmacy technician at Lahey Hospital in Burlington, Mass. Her being inside a hospital every day makes me more fearful for her and our family, as we are now automatically more susceptible to being exposed to COVID-19.
“It is weird here. Real weird. More so each day. Yellow caution tape. Only one to a table in the cafe. Waiting area is taped up too,” Doreen said. “It’s exhausting to be here, but I’m proud to be doing it in a strange way.”
My father said he has high hopes that this situation will eventually bring families together.
“I hope there is some positive that comes from it,” he said. “Maybe we will stop taking things for granted, and maybe bring more people closer to their faith.”