In Hindsight, Part Three
Snippets of daily journal entries written by one student during the unfolding Coronavirus pandemic of 2020. The first in a three-part series.
Names have been removed for privacy. Otherwise, no changes to the original content have been made.
Entries and commentary by Moriah Story
May 30, 2020: I want the Coronavirus to be over. I know everyone does. But I can’t … keep going like this. I don’t see the point.
May 31, 2020: Also I realized that walking around without a mask on feels like walking around in public with your pants around your ankles.
According to an in-depth poll from National Geographic released in July of this year, only 60% of Americans always wear a mask when in public. They have since re-conducted the poll and have seen a 14% rise in mask wearers, with the highest rate of face coverings being worn by Democratic women. Considering that masks have been proven to reduce the spread of COVID-19, these numbers are disappointingly low. Apparently not all Americans feel embarrassed to be seen scorning something that could save lives.
June 6, 2020: The world is a f-king hellscape right now.
And I forgot to tell you, a few days ago one of my customers gave me two pieces of double bubble. I haven’t had that in years and it really put a smile on my face. It’s the small things, even now. 2020 has been a sh—t storm of a year, but if this is how change begins, then so be it.
June 10, 2020: June 10th and times are…well, you know what times are.
On this day, CNN projected that the global economy would take at least two years to recover from the pandemic – all this before the second wave hit our country in October.
June 12, 2020: Every day is the same.
June 30, 2020: I want school to start so I don’t have to be here all the time.
July 2, 2020: An update on 2020 affairs: there’s a huge spike in Covid cases and Donald Trump’s ratings are falling, glory hallelujah.
July 2 saw more Americans disapprove of Trump than ever before, according to fivethirtyeight.com, a project that surveys hundreds of polls across the country and combines them into one. Trump’s ratings had only fallen this low twice before, once in 2017 and once in 2019. On this day, the President held a press conference and stated the following, “If you look, we were talking this morning, something to think about. China was way early, and they’re getting under control just now. And Europe was way early, and they’re getting under control. We followed them with this terrible China virus. And we are likewise getting under control. Some areas that were very hard hit are now doing very well. Some were doing very well and we thought they may be gone and they flare up and we’re putting out the fires.” He was wrong.
July 7, 2020: I hope 2020 ends soon.
July 9, 2020: I also realized I haven’t left the house for a very long time.
July 16, 2020: I can’t wait to go back to Wilson.
July 31, 2020: Wilson College has elected to only have remote instruction for the Fall 2020 semester. No on campus classes. I am stuck in this house with no break and no escape for at least another 5 months … I hate Zoom classes … No dorm room to myself. No new friends. No work study with N.S. No Billboard. No dining hall or downtown Chambersburg walks … F--k you, COVID for taking the last little bit of my life.
As you can tell, I got Billboard back, but the rest of this ended up being true. Wilson College President, Wesley Fugate, announced that students would not be returning to campus in the Fall as had previously been expected. According to distance learning statistics from Education Data, 97% of college students switched to online instruction in 2020, and only 62% of current college students indicated that they planned to return next year. At the hand of the virus, fewer college students are enrolling and even fewer are enjoying the current state of their education.
August 2, 2020: 2020 is the worst year of my life. It’s probably the worst year for many people … [But] I lived to fight another day.
August 6, 2020: And the Coronavirus rages on. The United States is the laughing stock of the world for how we handled the pandemic. And it only gets worse.
August 9, 2020: I was alone for an extended period of time today for the first time in months. It made me feel like me again.
August 11, 2020: COVID is still a thing.
I don’t know who I was updating about COVID. It’s hard to imagine a day going by without pondering the state of our earth during the pandemic. I suppose I just hoped that if anyone ever happened upon my journals, they would know that even when it wasn’t being spoken about, the coronavirus never stopped for a moment.
August 16, 2020: I don’t even know what’s going on anymore.
August 18, 2020: I can’t believe the semester is less than a week away.
August 20, 2020: D.S. has COVID. And he’s been in the office with Dad. So now all of us are worried because we’ve been exposed. I’m very ready for 2020 to be over and done with.
According to a recent article from NBC, 68% of adults know someone who has tested positive for the Coronavirus. The amount of those who have been in contact with infected people is staggering, and I don’t think I would be reaching to say that the majority of American families have a virus scare this year. Whether it be a child with a persistent cough, an outbreak in the office next door, or a call from someone you saw last week that has since tested positive, this has been a year of baited breath and unease. It feels as though one can only wait for the virus to strike in one’s own home.
August 21, 2020: My dad tested negative for Coronavirus, thank goodness.
August 22, 2020: Semester starts in the morning.
When I began prepping this series at the beginning of the semester, I decided to end here, on what felt like a hopeful note. Things have changed since August 22. Some for better, some for worse. This year will make history for many reasons, most obviously the pandemic, but also for the way our country’s cultural and political climate began to shakily shift. Unprecedented times? Yes. But perhaps it brought into light some glaring problems in the way our country runs and cares for its citizens – all of its citizens.