When it comes to knowing what to do next, I’m totally clueless. Right now, all I know I can do is take the first step and deal with whatever is in front of me.
That means doing whatever I can to protect myself and others. Wearing my mask, social distancing and all the precautions that I’m having to take are difficult. There’s nothing I wouldn’t give to hug my best friend or simply visit her in her dorm room.
I recognize how difficult these times have been. I went months stuck in my childhood bedroom, hundreds of miles from my friends. I won’t be able to see my friends on Flower Hill for graduation. I still remain distant with some of my friends who are out of state. Joining class from the four walls of my apartment has become quite lonely.
I have to have faith that my fellow students will do the right thing. We are only a few weeks into the semester and we have already reached a 1% positive rate.
I’ve seen students go above my expectations of being safe, but I’ve also seen students disregard the precautions altogether. Just last week, I went to the library to catch up on some class reading and a group of about fifteen men came in, several of which were not wearing masks. I became so uncomfortable that I packed up and went home.
I am begging the student body to do the right thing; I’ve seen people I know and care about become sick because of this pandemic. There are even a few I know who’ve lost loved ones. More than anything, I am begging you as a reader to not make me write an obituary.
Young people often like to think they’re invincible, but I promise that we are much more vulnerable than we want to believe.
There are things that I’d much rather be doing, hanging out with my friends, preparing for the GRE, visiting my parents on the weekend, but I, like many other students, are too preoccupied with worrying about our safety to study.
So, I encourage you to be safe and call on others. Lives depend on us doing the right thing.
Ariel Hall is a writer for The Alabamian. She is a senior communication studies major and enjoys reading and photography in her free time. Previously, Zoe has acted as editor in chief, lifestyles editor and advice columnist.