Op-ed: Surviving the COVID-19 Pandemic
During these scary times full of changes and uncertainty, everyone in the world is trying to learn how to cope with something we have never experienced. As a college student at Eastern New Mexico University, I never thought that when I left for spring break, I wouldn’t be going back to school. In a matter of weeks, everything has changed, and now we must all figure out how to finish the semester without physically going to school. While all of this is still new to me, I have been trying a number of things to make each day feel a little more normal.
Since our extended break ended, I have decided to start a daily routine. Even though I don’t follow the routine exactly, I do think that it helps me be more productive since I still have schoolwork to do. I try to get up each weekday between 8 and 9 in the morning—yes, this is wide time frame—and since I am working according to my own schedule, it’s nice to be able sleep in a little bit on some days. Then, I like to have breakfast and watch TV or look at my phone for a little bit before starting homework.
I start working on schoolwork around 10; this can be watching a lecture, reading or just working on an assignment. I also try to take 5- to ten-minute breaks once an hour so I am not just sitting in one place for long periods of time. I have lunch around 1 or 2 each afternoon, and I take about an hour break just to relax and not worry about school or anything. After that, I get back to work; I usually try to be done with homework for the day around four or five each afternoon, so I can have the rest of the day to relax or do whatever I want. I have found that regulating my life has made all of this a little bit easier, because it makes my life feel a little more normal.
I consider myself to be a germaphobe; even before all of this I was already worrying about when someone would cough or sneeze around me, and I was already constantly washing my hands. So, worrying about this pandemic is something that has really been a struggle. I don’t really like to go to the store or other places where I know I might be near someone who could be sick, so getting out of the house has been kind of hard. I’m at home with my parents, and I talk with my friends every day, so that has made it easier to get through this. I have also found that having time where I am not on my phone or watching TV and just reading a book or doing something different is nice.
Also, even though watching and reading the news is a good way to get important information, I do think that there is such a thing as too much media. I think just constantly hearing things about COVID-19 isn’t helpful, because it just causes paranoia and panic. So, it is important to be able to separate the information that is useful and the information that is just going to make you worry.
Some other things that I have found that are helpful during these times are all of the Coronavirus memes on social media; there are so many funny ones out there, and I think it always helps to be able to laugh.