COVID-19 BLOG: Giving thanks and gaining perspective

From+L+to+R%3A+Aarya+Bavare%2C+Zoe+Comerford+and+Brianna+Mitchell+take+a+trip+to+downtown+Chicago+Jan.+2.+Photo+courtesy+of+Zoe+Comerford.

From L to R: Aarya Bavare, Zoe Comerford and Brianna Mitchell take a trip to downtown Chicago Jan. 2. Photo courtesy of Zoe Comerford.

Wow, what a whirlwind couple of months it has been — from the NBA’s postponement of its season, the BIG EAST Tournament and March Madness being canceled in college basketball, the NCAA granting an extra year of eligibility for spring sports, the MLB canceling the remainder of spring training, the NHL suspending its season, Tokyo 2020 moving to July 2021, Wimbledon being canceled for the first time since World War II, the Masters moving back to November, both Boston and London changing the dates of their marathons and the WNBA and NFL Drafts occurring virtually.

Every day it seems like there’s new developments with the novel coronavirus and like there’s always an increase of cases, which gives a greater chance that someone I know could get it. The scariest part of this all is the uncertainty. Not knowing when we will be able to watch or cover live sports. Not knowing if we’ll even be able to return for the beginning of my senior year. Probably not having a summer internship. I like control, and the fact I don’t have any is pretty difficult.

After coming back from New York and covering the BIG EAST Tournament, I was in self-quarantine for 14 days, which was extremely hard for me. If you know anything about me, I’m an extrovert, meaning I love being active and social. But in quarantine, I was not able to really do anything other than stay at home and watch movies with my dog, Georgia. My self-quarantine lasted until my home state Illinois announced its stay-at-home order, so I never really transitioned out of being quarantined.

In the beginning, the stay-at-home order wasn’t too bad. But now I feel like I’m already over being stuck inside. Every other time I’m home, I’m able to see my friends. However, my childhood friends are minutes away, and I can’t see them. While it is nice to see people out and about when I go on walks, my hometown of Naperville is a complete ghost town, which is strange to see.

Since it was Lent for the beginning of quarantine, reflection has never been more relevant. I have realized everything that I took for granted at school and I know that after this is all over, I will always be grateful for grabbing meals with my friends, having spontaneous dance parties in Campus Town West 324, walking down Wisconsin Avenue, attending mass at Gesu and spending endless hours at Johnston Hall.

I miss all the amazing people that I’ve met over my past three years at Marquette. I miss human interaction. I miss hugging my friends. I miss sports, not only watching but also broadcasting and going to Fiserv Forum, the Al McGuire Center and Valley Fields. I was supposed to work the Opening Day Cubs vs. Brewers game. Even though they did #OpeningDayatHome, it’s not the same. I miss being on campus and seeing the flowers pop up near the Joan of Arc Chapel. I miss walking down Wisconsin Avenue and waving to my friends. I miss sitting in Johnston Hall for hours on Monday nights working on the Tribune. I miss in-person classes. However, I am so blessed to even have been able to experience these outstanding opportunities. 

While it may be hard that you’re missing out on your college experience or events you were supposed to be at, it helps to put it in perspective. There are people in way worse situations than you, as there are individuals who are losing their jobs and even their lives because of COVID-19. So whenever you feel sad about what you’re not able to do during this time, think of the people who are the most vulnerable. 

I truly believe now is a time that we need to be thankful for everything we do have because you never know when that’s going to be taken away. Everything can change in an instant and a slogan I live by is “carpe diem.” It means to live every day like it’s your last. You never want to have regrets at the end of the day, so say “I love you” to your family members. Call your friends as much as you can. Tell your professors you appreciate them. We have never needed connection more than we do right now. Just hearing someone’s voice over the phone or seeing their face on Zoom and FaceTime can brighten up what seems like a dark time for our world. If we’ve learned anything from this experience, it’s that we can’t control what happens and something could be taken away from us at any moment. 

As the “High School Musical” verse goes, “We’re all in this together. And it shows, when we stand hand in hand.”

The only way to come out on the other side of this is to flatten the curve. However, that will only occur if every single person follows the guidelines. If 99% does, that 1% could be who spreads it to the elderly and those with weakened immune systems. Listen to the professionals and don’t go shopping just to get out of the house. Even if you don’t think you will get it, you could be a carrier and give it to your parents or your grandparents.

We will get through this, but that only happens if we all do it. 

Stay safe and healthy, everyone!

This story was written by Zoe Comerford. She can be reached at isabel.comerford@marquette.edu or on Twitter @zoe_comerford.