COVID-19 BLOG: A long distance relationship only 20 minutes apart


From L to R: Izzy Melia, Reese Seberg and Nick Cinquepalmi enjoy residence hall life by watching movies and relaxing in October 2019. Photo courtesy of Reese Seberg.

The last month honestly feels like a tornado came through, ripped up everything we all knew, and now we’re trying to make a “new” normal. Even though things are unnerving right now, I feel more grateful than ever to have a close-knit family, a roof over my head, and for my education from Marquette.

At least for me, my professors have gone above and beyond making sure that the other students and I are doing okay, and being available for any questions around the clock. I wouldn’t particularly say quarantine and social distancing is hard for me, because I tend to thrive with lots of alone time. I’ve taken this extra time as a gift for me to better myself as a student, a friend, and my health as a whole. 

One of the most difficult things about this whole situation is not being able to be at Marquette, where all of my closest friends and I met. Instead of being angry towards the situation, I’m just thankful those closest to me are healthy and safe.

The biggest hardship has been being away from my boyfriend, Shane. He only lives twenty minutes away but we both have chosen to do our parts in social distancing and haven’t seen each other in three weeks, going on a month. This is particularly difficult for me because we met at school pretty early in this past school year. Ever since then, we’ve practically spent the majority of our time with one another. It makes me sad not being able to sit and watch him play guitar, or debate our innermost metaphysical thoughts together.

In the last week, however, things hit a little too close to home. Shane’s dad is considered an essential worker and has still had to go to work. For the past week or so he has felt under the weather, as well as his mom and sister. After a conference with his doctor, they concluded it very well could be COVID-19, but due to the lack of tests in Illinois, they won’t know for sure.

Just like clockwork, Shane woke up the next morning with a severe cough, chest pain, and cold-like symptoms. Terrifyingly enough, he’s twenty and had the worst reaction out of his mom, dad, and sister. It’s definitely been scary because even though I know it’s irrational I can’t help but worry that it could get worse and he could end up like many people, in the hospital and possibly with severe complications.

Thankfully, while he doesn’t feel great, he’s been feeling slightly better as the week has progressed. If I’ve learned anything from this experience, it’s that you don’t need a lot to be happy. I’ve found the simplest of pleasures since being home, and I’ve learned to appreciate just being alive and healthy. I think everyone can benefit from expressing more gratitude during this time period.