I Miss Springfield: Missouri State Students Discuss Life In Quarantine
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As you all know, COVID-19 has taken over the world. Stores are shut down. Churches are closed. Schools are online. We all have some strong opinions about having to do online schooling because a lot of our majors and minors require practical, hands-on learning. In this discussion panel, we will be discussing our thoughts and opinions about our new life as we know it. First, let's meet the panel.

Where are you spending quarantine? What's the vibe?

Jenna - I am mostly spending time at home with family or at work. I work in the emergency department, so my job is essential. We will never shut down (hopefully). At home, the vibe is chill, yet boring. At work, it can be fast-paced or super slow. It depends on the time of day!

Emily - I'm currently spending quarantine in Springfield since I focus best on schoolwork here. It's a lot more quiet now that most students have moved home. The perk of it is walking around campus is much less crowded and getting to soak it all in. Couldn't do that before with the rush to go to class.

Britney - Since I'm from Springfield, I made the decision to move out of my resident hall and live back at home. I've been quarantining with my family and at my boyfriend's apartment. I'm sad to be a part from Missouri State but the social distancing has really helped me prioritize my writing and I'm more organized than I've ever been!

Anna - I've been spending the past two and a half weeks or so in my hometown in Southern Illinois. The area is rural and I literally live in the middle of a field with my family. So it's pretty lonely and quiet and very different from Springfield. However, I'm getting to spend a lot of time with my family and pets so I can't complain too much.

Alexandria - I've been spending my time at home in the really small town of Lohman, just 12ish minutes from Jefferson City. We live basically in the middle of nowhere in the woods without neighbors which is great. I've been able to spend more time with my family now that I'm out of a job, which I couldn't really do before because I was working full time. We've had lots of baby goats born since quarantine started and we get to get them more acclimated to people now.

How do you feel about Missouri State's response to COVID-19?

Jenna - Personally, it doesn't affect me much. I used to commute 45 minutes one way every weekday which ate up a lot of gas. It is kind of nice sleeping in and not having to drive so much to class. However, I do miss all my friends. I also really like how the university took its time to think through the major decisions and think about every student.

Emily - I have mixed feelings. I'm upset that I lost all my "lasts" and graduation since I'm a senior. However, I do agree with the university's call to postpone or call things off with how rapidly the virus is spreading right now. I also am happy that Missouri State is opening the floor for student input how to proceed with graduation.

Britney - It's disappointing, but I know it's for our safety. I think MSU is doing everything they can to accommodate to students by extending registration dates, reimbursing students for residence halls, and changing their pass/fail policy.

Anna - I appreciate the university's response to COVID-19. They took their time to fully survey the situation and they didn't give answers immediately. I feel that this helped to significantly reduce the chaos surrounding the situation. They are trying to take the best possible course of action to help their students stay safe and succeed event during these unprecedented times.

Alexandria - I don't go to MSU, but this is for my university: I think it was justified. It's really hard to wrap my mind around it though because this was my last semester as an undergrad. I am thankful that they didn't just cancel commencement, they rescheduled it for the beginning of August. Students haven't been on campus since March 6 other than students who live/lived on campus. They are doing everything they can with a hard situation.

When did you start to know it was serious? When did you start taking action?

Jenna - I knew it was serious when we had out first case in Greene County, where MSU is. As soon as the governor announced the case, all my group chats were blowing up and it felt like the end of the world. That day didn't seem real at all; it felt weird. I started taking action later than I should have, honestly. I waited about a week to actually start staying home.

Emily - I realized it was serious when Missouri State moved class online the rest of the semester and cancelled or postponed events. I started taking more action during spring break since I stayed at home for the bulk of it before the stay home order came out.

Britney - I realized it was serious the moment students started moving back home and all events were canceled for the rest of the semester. Also when all non-essential businesses closed and the stay at home order was initiated.

Anna - I realized it was serious towards the end of February. I called my mom to ask her about our plans to go to Disney World this summer. She told me that she was so sorry but she decided to cancel the trip. She said she knew that the coronavirus was more serious than people were saying and that it was going to get very badly very quickly and will be like that for a while. She then mentioned she was going to drive all the way to St. Louis to go to Costco and start stocking up. My mom is a retired physician and probably the smartest and bravest woman I know. Hardly anything phases her but I heard fear in her voice as she was talking to me. That's when I started really talking precautions to keep myself healthy.

Alexandria - I realized it was serious when my mom and stepdad (both flight nurses) were very concerned about it. Things were slow at first, and then all of the sudden things shut down fast. Disney, Universal Studios, schools, businesses. That's when it felt more real and scary. That's when it was "you have to stay home now because things aren't okay" and that's when I did my part in social distancing and staying home.

What do you miss about being on campus? 

Jenna - I miss getting Chick-fil-A or Panda Express daily. Honestly, those two vendors were the only reason I drove to MSU some days.. not gonna lie.

Emily - Lots of things. I miss the liveliness of campus when people would always be on campus. I'm an ambassador for Bear POWER and the students had to move home. Our in person events got cancelled too. Bear POWER is one of the things I miss most. My ministry no longer worships in person. We do virtual worship now, but it isn't the same. I also have had a hard time motivating myself to get stuff done since I don't have immediate access to different study spots.

Britney - I miss seeing my friends from other organizations and classes everyday. I also miss living on campus because it kept me connected to everything and made going to school more fun. I'll also miss volunteering at events and I'm bummed out it was cut short

Anna - I miss sooo many things. But I think what I miss the most is my schedule and routine I had on campus. I've been trying to keep the same schedule at home but it just isn't the same. It's so hard to stay motivated to do work when you aren't on campus.

Alexandria - Since I was student teaching, I was only on campus once every other week for one class. I definitely miss my "routine" that I had. I would get up at 6am and I would be busy all day at the school. Now I feel like everything for my schedule is messed up. I've tried to keep a schedule, but it's difficult when I don't have much to do anymore. I miss seeing my students everyday and them running up to me giving me hugs. Or one student in particular that would come up to me almost everyday and say "so vsco," and I would reply with "sksksksk save the turtles!" She would laugh so hard and tell the rest of the first grade class about it. I wish that I knew that'd most likely be the last time I'd see them :(

What's the first thing you're doing when you get back?

Jenna - Hugging our Boomer statue outside of the Plaster Student Union. GO BEARS!

Emily - I don't know where I will be for graduate school yet. Anyone who knows me knows that I'm going to go out and search for dogs to pet and take photos with. That's something I won't take for granted ever again. I also hope to see some friends in person over the summer here if I have to move for my master's.

Britney - Organize a big get-together with friends and enjoy the company of more than just the same 10 people I've been interacting with. Also to never take any of the normal everyday things for granted again. I want to be involved at MSU as much as possible. I'm looking forward to things like bear bash and welcome weekend because that will be the first time I'll be in a large group of people.

Anna - I'm living in my sorority house next semester and I'm really looking forward to having more fun and being more spontaneous. I lived by myself in the dorms so I spent a lot of time in my dorm by myself and didn't go out or see friends that much. I can't wait to get to live with some of my best friends and see what kind of memories we will make.

Alexandria - I'll be graduated :( But hopefully starting my graduate! Although the first thing I'm going to do when it's okay to do things again would be plan a trip to the zoo and a St. Louis weekend.

What's something you didn't realize you would missed? 

Jenna - I honestly never thought I would miss my English professor. He is a cute old man (don't take that the wrong way). Sometimes he couldn't hear us when we talked or he broke the computer or got on our nerves, but he was always my favorite. I miss seeing his cheesy smile every MWF.

Emily - The liveliness of campus, in-person classes, and the services I was receiving. Along with my campus jobs. It's the small things that are really easy to take for granted. It made me appreciate seeing people in person so much more. I can't take tests at the clinic downtown since they closed. I don't receive speech therapy since they had to cancel sessions. I worked at a daycare and for the disability center, and I miss seeing the students at both places.

Britney - Waking up early to go to my seated lectures. I took for granted how much I like to be physically immersed in my classes. Also having to go to meetings. At times they weren't the most fun thing in the world but I miss my weekly routine of going to the PSU Parliamentary room, which is now replaced by zoom. I also didn't think I'd miss the being in big groups of people. I'm pretty introverted but I still enjoy human interaction.

Anna - Since coming home from school I ultimately decided my safest option would be to self-quarantine in my home. I haven't left my home in about two and a half weeks. As an introvert this should be a dream come true because I love to stay home and spend time alone. But I miss being around other people and getting to talk to and be around my friends. I also really miss a lot of my really awesome professors I had this semester.

Alexandria - I didn't realize how much I would miss going to the store. Even just going to the mall to look around, I didn't realize I would actually miss wasting time by doing that.

How are you helping those around you? 

Jenna - I work in the emergency department at Cox, so I help people every day. Whether that be wiping their bottom or saving their life. I am always there for my patients. I am also trying to learn how to make masks... not going too well though, I must admit.

Emily - I'm helping others by leaving my place as little as possible (mainly to pick up groceries, food take out, or walks). I have been posting a picture of a dog I have met previously each day to my Facebook page called "Daily Dog Friends" so people can see other dogs if they are not at home with their pets and offer an alternative with social distancing guidelines. The daycare I work at is letting us record videos on Screen Castify so I recorded myself showing a "dog of the day" since it closed down and many families are at home right now.

Britney - I feel like I'm doing my part by staying home and avoiding non essential travel to places in town. Also by keeping the people I interact with down to 10 to lessen the chance of spreading the virus.

Anna - I'm doing my part by simply staying home and only leaving to pick up necessary groceries. By staying home I am able to slow the spread of the virus to myself and others.

Alexandria - I believe I'm doing my part in just staying home. As of right now, most things are closed, so I really don't need to go out. If I need groceries, I'll order curbside. I'm also being proactive in telling people to just stay home and providing reasons why it's crucial right now.

Check out the other creators in this panel:

- Alexandria Shaefer

- Emily Daily

- Britney Huish

- Anna Madura

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