Lifestyle, Opinions

Returning to normalcy

On March 19, 2020, Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a stay-at-home order for all California residents in an attempt to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

College, high school and elementary students worldwide were forced to stay at home and learn in a virtual environment.

As a college student and parent of two children, I understand the multi-faceted challenges that came with the shutdown.

There is nothing more challenging than trying to do your assignments, all while keeping an 8-year-old focused and on task while they sit in front of a laptop for six hours a day.

Don’t even get me started on the cruel and unusual punishment this brought upon our household.

Despite a concerted effort, COVID-19 cases continued to surge with no end to the crisis in sight. That is until a ray of hope, a vaccine developed by Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE, arrived in December.

Over 10 million Californians have been vaccinated, and restrictions have been lifted. Society is returning to some semblance of normalcy.

On Feb. 21, Provost Brian Jersky announced that a small number of courses would return to campus for face-to-face class instruction on March 1.

I cannot tell you how happy and excited I was to read this.

I am a transfer student from El Camino College, and this is my second semester at Long Beach. I have never had the privilege of experiencing campus life, thanks to the pandemic.

The only time I have been on campus was to check out equipment and visit the bookstore. I can’t wait to eat crappy college food and have genuine human interaction outside of my household. But, with this excitement comes reservations.

Will my fellow students ignore social distancing guidelines? What happens if someone refuses to mask up?

There’s always somebody who is hardheaded and too selfish to follow the rules. There is nothing more uncomfortable and potentially volatile than telling a stranger to put their mask on.

I have yet to be vaccinated, and I, for one, will do my part to ensure that this transition goes as smoothly as possible.

I can only appeal to anyone on campus to do the same. This is bigger than all of us. With the finish line in sight, we can win this race together.

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