We all like to think that we are invincible, myself included, until things we thought would never happen actually impact us. This mindset is especially noticeable at this time where our communities are still facing the effects of COVID-19, yet so many people want to look past it and get back to a "normal" life.
Moving back to campus this fall I will admit it, my mind was clouded with some ignorance and naive notions that school being open would be smooth sailing. I was so excited to be back that I pushed my worries to the back of my mind. I was still sure to take precautions, though. My small group of friends and I only socialized together, we planned to limit our chances of exposure by limiting contact with other people and places, and we hoped that others would do the same to mitigate the risk of an outbreak.
Unfortunately, as careful as we thought we were being, we could have been better as a whole student body. On September 19 I received the phone call that I had tested positive for COVID. Instantly a wave of emotion hit me. I would be put in isolation, separated from the outside world, all while being sick.
I quarantined on campus in an apartment since I have compromised family members at home and I have to applaud the responses that Providence College has put in place. It was so hard to be in isolation for ten days on campus all while hearing and seeing my classmates outside. It was hard mentally and physically. I ended up behind in courses, upset with myself for contracting it, and worried about how others would take the news. Some people were so empathetic and understanding, while others instantly began to stress about how the virus would affect them, all while blaming me.
PC did everything they could to make us comfortable. Meals were dropped off twice a day, I received a call every night to check in on how I was doing, and they left plenty of living necessities in the rooms. Even still it was easy to get bored and upset especially when I started to feel better. I found it important to focus on myself and what I could control. For instance, I started going through short workouts again which seems small, but was a huge morale boost. I also put my energy into my courses to do the best I could at missed assignments. The triumphs were small but they were of my control. I had to adopt the mindset that I could not change that I got the virus or the actions on campus that led to it. All I could do was better myself and grow from that.
After getting sick with coronavirus and now being let out of isolation, I want to stress that we must as a community do all that we can to stop the spread. The virus is no joke, and the longer we allow ourselves to be ignorant and naive towards it the longer it will persist. During this time, show compassion to everyone you do and do not see through your actions. Even the most careful of people can get the virus. Going forward let us all do what we can to protect ourselves and our community. We are in this together to be better and stronger. I know I do not want anyone to have to go through what I did, so I am being hypervigilant to do my part. I urge you to do the same.