Thank you in advance for taking the time to read this article. I hope everyone is staying safe, healthy, and reading this from the comfort of their own home.
A little background about myself, I am originally from California and am currently in my last year of law school at Syracuse University in upstate New York. As I’m sure nearly everyone is aware by now, the Coronavirus has become an international pandemic impacting nearly the entire world. On March 10, Syracuse University informed me that classes would be moved online due to the Coronavirus until March 30 at the earliest. After I received that news, I cancelled my previously scheduled spring break plans and booked a one-way flight home to California and arrived the following day.
Upon arriving in California, I surprisingly did not experience any delays or trouble at either my departing or arriving airports. However, within just a few days of being home, the situation evolved drastically and life as I knew it changed...
The majority of Californians are pleased with the Governor’s actions and are happy he is taking the situation seriously.
As of March 26, California has over 3,000 confirmed cases of the Coronavirus, and Governor Gavin Newsom has prohibited all individuals from leaving their homes aside for essential purposes through implementing a “Stay at Home” order. This order prohibits individuals in the state from leaving their homes for purposes other than to receive essential health care, grocery shopping, picking up takeout, as well as to visit gas stations to fill up their cars. Additionally, President Trump deployed a Navy hospital ship (USNS Mercy) to California to help provide additional medical support. The majority of Californians are pleased with the Governor’s actions and are happy he is taking the situation seriously.
The USNS Mercy arrives in Los Angeles. Photograph: Cpl Alexa M Hernandez/US Marine corps/AFP via Getty Images
While politics are nearly always divisive in the U.S., both Democrats and Republicans are working together to help combat the virus. On March 26, the U.S. Senate passed a $2 trillion bill to provide assistance to states and individuals to combat the crisis. While this is a great example of bipartisan support, President Trump not so surprisingly has his own agenda. President Trump has stated he plans to have the U.S. “opened up” and “raring to go by Easter”, which the vast majority of health officials don’t believe is safe or feasible. Regardless of whether President Trump follows through with this statement or not, individual states seem to be handling the situation fairly well and I don’t believe state governors will lift restrictions anytime soon, regardless of what President Trump decides to do.
Although the government is taking the situation seriously, not all individuals appear to be abiding by the social distancing protocols the government has implemented. Countless college students are still participating in spring break activities, such as partying on beaches in Florida. While some individuals are seemingly carefree with respect to the virus, the vast majority are not.
My everyday routine - or how I try to stay focused in my home office :D
On March 23, my university cancelled commencement and all classes for the remainder of the semester were moved online. This announcement of course has had a significant impact on my study and work habits. It has been a huge adjustment but I have found the best way to successfully complete my work is to maintain a schedule and set up a work space in my home. While it is easy to get distracted at home, setting up a space to work has helped me immensely. I set my laptop and textbooks up on a table in my house and force myself to work from there. I have also done my best to maintain a regular schedule to stay on track, such as waking up at the same time every day and allocating a certain amount of time to study each day. I found that it is also important to take breaks. Even if you only have a few minutes free, try and take the time to get up and walk around, make some coffee, or whatever else helps keep you focused. While these sound like simple and common-sense ideas, they are harder to implement than you may think (at least for me) but will the world of a difference.
If it weren’t for this pandemic, I would still be in Syracuse finishing up my final semester of law school. I would still be in class with my friends, colleagues, and professors. If it weren’t for this pandemic, I would’ve had the opportunity to say goodbye to everyone I endured the last three years of school with. If it weren’t for this pandemic, I would’ve been able to graduate with my friends and celebrate our accomplishments. However, I did not have these opportunities and intend on making the most of my time social distancing at home.
I taught my family new board games!
I have tried to make this situation as positive as possible by appreciating what I do have,
which I highly recommend everyone try and do. Please take this time to spend time with your loved ones. Although it may seem like you are stuck at home due to store closures and mandated social distancing procedures, consider the opportunities you are still afforded. You can start a puzzle with your loved ones or order a new board game online and teach your family how to play, which I did. I have also been spending a lot of time outside by taking my dogs for walks and riding my horse on nearby trails. You can do all these fun things while still maintaining a safe distance from others to prevent further spread of the virus.
While this time away from normal schedules is an adjustment for everyone, myself included, we must find ways to carry on with life and be as positive as possible.
Thank you for everyone who took the time to read this article. I hope I was able to shed some light on how the Coronavirus is impacting life in California and what I have been doing to make this transition easier!
Stay safe, healthy, and positive!