Sunday, May 3, 2020

COVIDJOURNAL: Spring Break 2020 was supposed to be epic

(From student journal AMH2020 Spring 2020)

Spring Break 2020 was supposed to be epic.  It was my first spring break as a college student and my friends and I had been planning this trip for months.  Me, my three best friends and my parents, yes, my parents, were going to the Keys for five days.  We planned for months.  My parents saved for months.  The funny thing was, spring break started on March 16th, but when my mom booked the place we were staying, she messed up the dates and booked it for the week before. 
She was very upset, but in the end, it all worked out. We left on March 11th which was the day the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.  After we left was when &*^% started getting real. 
Disney World and Universal closed, the Governor announced that all public schools were to take an additional week off after spring break, and colleges began announcing that the remainder of the semester would move to online classes.  On March 14th, there were only 115 cases in Florida. 
My friends and I went to South Beach and Ft. Lauderdale.  We also went on a fishing trip with my parents and spent one day in Key West, but the thing we were looking forward to the most – was getting to see the Miami Heat play the Chicago Bulls.  We were supposed to go to the game on March 14th, but a few days before the game, the first NBA player tested positive for the virus.  In the days following, the NBA suspended its season.  We did not get to go.  That was pretty disappointing and in spite of all the craziness that was going on in the world, we still had a good time. 
My mom’s scheduling blunder turned out to be a good thing though because a few days after we returned home, they closed down Key West and on March 27th the only people who were allowed to enter the Keys were residents. 
            Once we returned home, life seemed normal except that all four of my classes were now online.  My parents both returned to work but I, unfortunately did not.  I work in a restaurant and on March 20th the Governor ordered all restaurants to switch to take-out only.  The restaurant I work in is a small, fine dining, Italian restaurant so only a few employees were needed to run a take-out only restaurant.  The most bizarre thing to me was how much toilet paper people were buying.  I really did not understand why people thought they needed to buy several months’ worth of toilet paper.  This worried my mom a little because we returned home to only three rolls in our house.  Luckily the person my sister lives with is a toilet paper hoarder (he was before the virus) and they have a closet that holds nothing but TP, so my sister was able to sneak out a big pack for us.