COVID-19 BLOG: Peace in the chaos

Annie+Mattea+%28right%29+and+her+roommates+Savannah+Alcala+%28left%29+and+Sarah+Foley+%28middle%29+take+a+picture+together+Feb.+29.+Photo+courtesy+of+Annie+Mattea.

Annie Mattea (right) and her roommates Savannah Alcala (left) and Sarah Foley (middle) take a picture together Feb. 29. Photo courtesy of Annie Mattea.

Talking to my friend, he said right now it’s impossible to pretend everything is normal right now and that life is the same as it used to be.

But it’s hard not to crave that feeling of normalcy. The feeling you had almost a month ago when you said goodbye to your friends, expecting to see them in a week. The feeling you had as you walked from class to class and got annoyed when too many cars were going by. The feeling you had when you stayed up too late playing cards with friends.

It’s that same feeling of being at Bradford Beach in the dead of night in the middle of winter, only to return to your room to dance and sing super loud, knowing you were going to get in trouble because it was quiet hours. It’s that feeling of drifting off to sleep in a lofted bed not knowing it would be your last time.

There are all these feelings we’re going to miss. But at the same time it feels like having these disappointments makes it seem like we don’t understand why the changes are necessary. Everybody I know is trying to self-isolate in their houses, but surely being upset about huge changes in our lives is okay? I see people saying not to underestimate how serious the disease is, and I’m not. I understand why we have to social distance, but I still find myself struggling to deal with it. 

The aspect of normalcy I miss the most is seeing people. I remember when I moved out of my dorm room (the first time, back when I hoped it was only temporary), my RA said that it wasn’t a time to socialize. Students were expected to pack up all essential items in 20 minutes or less without interacting with their friends.

“They’re only a FaceTime call away,” the RAs said.  

At the time, that irritated me so much. Human connection cannot be replaced by FaceTime. But it has to be, doesn’t it? I was never a big texter but now that it’s all we’ve got, should I try to be? 

I apologize for rambling, as realistically, being home isn’t terrible for me. I’m grateful for that, especially knowing some of my friends are in more difficult home environments. But at the same time, being at home feels like I am thrown back into who I was in high school. Will I fall back into old habits? 

Despite all of these thoughts running through my head, I’ve been trying to think positively. Although I’m sure permanent change is in the air, I can only hope that all will be okay again. We will return to some sense of normalcy, even if it is a new normal. A quote I read right as everything rapidly changed said to find peace in the chaos and that all will be well.

Let’s all try to do that. I hope you are able to find peace in the chaos.

This story was written by Annie Mattea. She can be reached at anne.mattea@marquette.edu.