COVID-19 BLOG: Adjusting to home

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John Leuzzi (left) watches TV with siblings Victoria (top right) and Nick (bottom right) April 29. Photo courtesy of John Leuzzi.

It has been a crazy past few weeks, to say the least, but I’m happy and grateful to say that everyone in my family, including me, is healthy. It is also great to be back on the East Coast for good since I miss it a lot when I am in Milwaukee. 

For those who know me, I am a big sports phanatic — spelled purposely because of the Phillie Phanatic, the Philadelphia Phillies mascot — so I never would have thought I  would see a time when things like March Madness, professional sports and even spring collegiate sports get canceled, suspended or postponed. It certainly is an unprecedented time, and there is no script to handle all this. 

Every day there is new information coming out, and it keeps getting worse, which leads more people to be scared, including me at times. In the state of New Jersey, where I live, the numbers of those infected and who die keep increasing rapidly. This, in some ways, is scary because you don’t know who is next to get it, or if it will be you.

My first confrontation with the virus and everyone’s worries came in mid-March. I was flying back to Philly from Chicago after covering the BIG EAST Women’s Basketball Tournament. While walking through the airport, a lot of people from all different ages were wearing masks and gloves, and the plane was also very empty which is something I have never seen. All these signs that I was seeing showed extra precaution is something that needs to happen and that the virus could get worse. 

The biggest struggle that I have found has been staying focused and productive at home when it comes to schoolwork, Marquette Wire articles or even articles for my internship. Like I said earlier, I love being back on the East Coast because I am 13 hours away from my family when I am in MKE, so I don’t get to see them often. When I do get the chance to get back home for break or the summer, all I want to do is relax, be around my family, see friends and do things I can’t do while on campus. It took a while to find a routine and schedule that allows me to balance my work along with spending time with my family.

Normally, this time of the year for me would be spent watching March Madness, the start to the MLB season and my beloved Philadelphia Flyers continue to be one of the best teams in the NHL in pursuit to making it to the Stanley Cup for the first time since 2010. It has been weird not watching live sports games at night since it is something I love doing. Now, you might ask what am I referring to here. Well, because sports are shut down, a lot of sports stations have been re-airing old games, which has been AWESOME. It has been so cool to watch games from my childhood and see players who I loved watching play.

Besides the gain of having these re-aired sports games, I have enjoyed catching up on episodes of “NCIS” and “The Good Doctor” on Netflix and “The Masked Singer.” I have also enjoyed taking a lot of walks around my development which has been good for me to check in with family and friends on the phone while walking. It is so important to keep checking in with those you are close with during this time, especially your grandparents.

Since my state was on lockdown, I have not been able to move out of my residence hall yet and still don’t know when I will be able to. It has been difficult not getting a ton of helpful information for this situation. In addition, this lockdown has not allowed me to see my girlfriend who I am away from for nine out of the 12 months when I am in MKE. Despite being only 30 minutes from each other, we can’t leave our states to see each other in person yet, which has been tough. 

We will get through this and everything will get back to normal, but it can only happen if everyone follows the instructions given by the state and federal governments. My prayers and thoughts go out to those affected and their loved ones. Let’s all work together to stop this!

This story was written by John Leuzzi. He can be reached at john.leuzzi@marquette.edu.