Thursday, May 28, 2020

COVID Student Journal: I have to currently pay a rent of $600+ for an apartment that I am not even staying in

(Student submission Spring 2020)

It’s only the beginning and 2020 has already been one hell of a year. Never has there ever been a pandemic that affected the world as much as it has in the past couple months. States all over the world have been urged to go on lockdown for a minimum of 30 days in the month of April. I always had this inner feeling that the virus would get as big as it has. The corona virus pandemic has definitely had a huge effect on me.

            Living almost 4 hours from Tallahassee may seem like its not really that bad but the drive is dreadful. I had plans of going to Miami for Spring Break and numerous other places but with the virus spreading like a forest fire going out probably wouldn’t be the best idea. I had already paid for my hair appointment which was $100+ with a non-refundable deposit. I had already paid the deposit for my Airbnb which luckily, I could get back, but I would be sitting home with a hairdo and no where to go. After being notified that the extension after Spring Break would be two more weeks, I packed just enough clothes. 

Over that break I was again notified that the Spring Semester would be strictly online. I had to take the drive all the back to Tallahassee to grab more clothes and at least try to bring some of my things back home with me. Unfortunately, my apartment complex was not understanding of the pandemic and I have to currently pay a rent of $600+ for an apartment that I am not even staying in. 

While I was back at my apartment the pipe behind my toilet busted and water went EVERYWHERE! My entire apartment flooded so at this point my luck couldn’t get any worse. The office was closed so we had to wait at least an hour for someone to come and stop the water. 

After the situation was handled, my boyfriend and I stayed for about a week after that before returning to Lake County. Once I made it back, my mom stressed the seriousness of COVID-19. My God Mother made us masks and we also received N95 masks. Things were only getting worse because a lot of people were beginning to lose their jobs including my sister which made things really hard for her and my nephew. 

My mom became concerned about losing her job due to the fact that she does Interior Design and her job is not considered essential. My dad on the other hand is a lineman so it didn’t affect him as much as anyone else. In the event that my mom did lose her job, my dad put in extra hours to make sure that we wouldn’t go without anything we needed. I was in need of a job back home as well and with everyone losing their jobs, it was hard to actually find one. Thank God my mom never lost her job though.

            Going into grocery stores and seeing everyone in masks was so unreal to me and still is. It all seems like a movie but unfortunately it isn’t. At first it was hard finding toilet paper, water, hand sanitizer, Lysol, or any disinfectants because everyone was buying them all. It had gotten so bad that people were actually in stores fighting over them. I feel as if they went over board grabbing all of these necessities as if the grocery stores would be closed but they were probably just caught up in the hype. Majority of these people were overall uneducated of the virus anyways.

The virus has affected me personally because I am a business owner. I sell products from my personal vendors located in China. They were the first to give me the hint that the virus would eventually make its way to the United States. I stopped selling my products back in February due to the outbreak in China with hopes that they would quickly get it under control. Throughout that down time, I began to think “A lot of things come to the US from China so eventually this virus will wake its way to the US” and that’s just what it did. I’m still unable to sell my products due to the lack of supplies in China, the increase on shipping, and the amount of time it would take for me to receive my products. With all of this going on, no shipments delivery date is guaranteed or even close to the estimated delivery date.

            The school part of COVID-19 has been okay for me as far as every class except for my math. I’ve managed to keep up with most of my work in every class. Math has always been a challenging subject for me, and I feel that it is not a class that should be taught online. My math teacher already had trouble teaching and explaining things face to face with the class so being told that we would have to learn strictly through the computer was a complete disappointment. I hope I didn’t, but I honestly feel as if I failed her class. Hopefully she’s understanding of the pandemic and the difficulty of this transition.

            The downside of having a big family is that you lose people. During the lockdown last month, my cousin was in the hospital and of course we were unable to visit him. He wasn’t in good condition at all which resulted to him passing away. Technically we couldn’t have funeral for him due to the social distancing rule, so we were able to have a small gathering for him.

             I have a lot of family in New York and my uncle gave us the unfortunate news that one of my cousins was diagnosed with the virus. He said that his mother had been urging him to stay inside and stop going to parties but he insisted on going until one day he returned saying he was sick and his mother would not let him in her home. He drove to the hospital where he was then tested positive for the corona virus. He was given medication and a strict quarantine schedule. He was told to stay inside of my uncle’s basement until he was better. He eventually beat the virus and began to be more aware of the virus and where he goes.

My best friend is a senior and this was supposed to be her year to graduate and enjoy those senior festivities. With her school shutting down, that cancelled all of the fun things that come with senior year. Her birthday was also in April but we made the best of it by having a little parade for her and I threw her a little quarantine party. She’s still a little upset about graduation but we’re working on making this year very special for her while following guidelines of course. Two of my cousins were supposed to be college graduates this year as well and unfortunately their graduations were also cancelled. We had a little parade for one of them and she loved it. Of course, she still wants her graduation day, but we tried to make the best of it.

Overall, I’ve been in the house or at work for most of the pandemic. I’ve spent time with my family, my boyfriend, and my best friend. Things aren’t exactly normal now but the lockdown is over statewide. I don’t think its smart that they are acting like the virus just disappeared because its still here. I feel as if the government and other states should hold back on releasing the lockdown until we see positive progress otherwise things are going to get even worse leading to this drastic time lasting longer than we know.