Editor's note: The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.
Well, I'm pretty sure when we all came back to Longwood in January, we weren't expecting for it all to come crashing down in the middle of March. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a halt to our in-person campus community, and for us seniors (including myself) we will no longer get to grace the halls of this institution to attend in-person classes, and that is one of the hardest pills we've had to swallow in our still young lifetimes.
While campus remains open, and some students remain here, these are without a shadow of a doubt some tough times. Students are scrambling to maintain their own sanity and mental health, while also keeping a level head to perform at the highest level in the internet classroom. But we cannot forget about the administration and each and every professor that has also been taken back by this awful pandemic.
Many professors, and even members of the university's administration, are also parents who are now faced with finding reliable childcare for their young, while also maintaining the best possible work environment for the students that they cherish so much. Our administration has been working tirelessly to update each and every one of us with the latest updates as soon as it comes in, even if the information is of the hardest variety to share, like today's announcement from President Reveley, and we wholeheartedly appreciate that.
These are uncharted waters for each-and-every one of us, both here and afar. The COVID-19 outbreak and its swarming wrath is currently engulfing Italy and other parts of Europe, while the death toll is also rising here and doesn't show signs of slowing down.
Yet, we have Spring Breaker's in Florida who do not at all seem to care about this, and are only worried about where their next sip of alcohol will come from, or which bar will be open next. But, please, go ahead and tell that to the families who have lost loved ones due to the coronavirus.
We also have older folks and elderly people afraid to leave their homes. Some families are not able to find proper cleaning supplies or even have the ability to work.
I'm not saying that life for kids currently on spring break should absolutely stop, and that there shouldn't be fun and good times had; But I just wish that we would be more mindful of the things we say, and the way we act, sometimes.
As I mentioned earlier, my time with in-person classes here at Longwood has now come to an end. One of the things I read, while in the classroom of Dr. Kristopher Paal, was a book titled, "35 Dumb Things That Well Intended People Say," by Maura Cullen.
The book's title is exactly what it says it is, a list of 35 dumb things that people say, even when their intentions are good.
Number four on that list is, "The same thing happens to me too." When we say this, we are trying to sympathize with a person and show that we care. Our intentions are good because we are trying to comfort the person.
However, do we really know if the same exact thing is happening to us? Even if it has, we can never understand someone else's emotions. Have we walked a mile in every other person's shoes? There's a good chance that you probably have not, and that's completely okay.
But in the face of this pandemic, let's not assume, and instead of thinking we have all of the answers, let's show tolerance of others and their particular situations. Because we don't exactly know what they are going through during these rough times.
If you know someone who is quarantined and alone, give them a call, send them a funny meme or Snapchat. Show them you care. Mental health is no joke and everyone's matters. Let's go back to our roots and treat others how we want to be treated.