Life during COVID-19 has brought about many changes. I am an engineering student studying at the University of Toledo. When COVID-19 cases started to rise, it brought about many changes in different aspects of my life as well as many other people
s lives. Here's how this pandemic has affected my academic, work, and personal life.
When COVID-19 cases first started to rise, I had to move out of my dorm. The announcement occurred during spring break, and I had to move out the week after. This meant that I never got to say goodbye to my roommates, classmates, and friends. This, also, meant that I had to schedule a time with my family to move out while I was still taking courses and completing exams. The next thing that occurred was that all my courses became online courses. I have only taken online courses a few times, and it is not my preferred method of learning. I had to attend online lectures at the same time of day as they normally would be held. This meant that I could sleep in a few extra minutes. This, also, meant that there would be plenty of extra distractions that were not present in a normal lecture hall. I studied in the morning room of my parent's house. This meant that there were people around. My little sister needed me to turn on her Zoom sessions. My mom would clean the rabbit's playpen, and my rabbit, Rosie, would run around my feet. Other distractions would occur as well. Another downside of the pandemic was that I couldn't go to the library or a cafe to study as I could before. This left me in a distraction-filled environment. Though I didn't deal with this situation often, I would notice that my peers' WiFi connections would be spotty, and they would get kicked out of the lecture several times during each class. Students should only have to focus on their schoolwork, not their Wi-Fi connections.
Aside from my academics, my work life was changed, too. I work in fast food as many other students do. It took a few weeks to get the gloves and masks, but once we got them, we wore them every shift. So not only did our appearance change with the gloves and masks, our menu changed, too. We dropped our less popular and highly-prepared foods. We stopped selling salads, chicken tenders, and ice cream cones to name a few. When summer started, we got back most of the ice cream products. However, we, still, had not gotten back any of the lunch/dinner items that were dropped. In the beginning of the COVID-19 shutdown, takeout and dine-in was closed. As time went on, takeout opened up. The dining room opened up for a few days before it closed again. In July, Mike DeWine, the governor of Ohio, mandated that people have to wear masks in public and that businesses could not offer their services to those not wearing masks. We did have to turn away some people in the beginning. With the dining room and takeout being lessened or entirely absent, there were less people that got scheduled because there were less positions that needed to be filled. Because of this, people had their hours cut. For me, I was lucky that I was able to still make money when so many people across the country and around the world lost their jobs.
My personal life was changed as well. I could no longer see my friends and relatives as much as I used to. I only left my house to go to work in the beginning of the COVID-19 shutdown. As time went on, I had some social-distanced board game sessions with my friends. I have not seen most of my older relatives since early March which has been hard. The virus, also, made me and my family afraid that we would bring it home to my grandpa who lives with us and has a weakened immune system. During this time period, I felt lonely being miles and miles away from most of my college friends. I still saw some of my high school friends a few times. We wore masks and social-distanced.
This pandemic has taken its toll on so many. It's drastically changed the way we live our lives. It has instilled new fears into us. The account above was my experience of how this pandemic changed my academic, work, and personal life.