A catastrophic time of our lives that we will now carry with us forever. As society got tossed into the unknown, playful memes flooded the internet and the virus was ultimately deemed as a joke. We have all seen them; and now we know not to eat the “bat soup.” Little did we know, however, as users we’re exchanging laughs over the internet the death toll numbers were simultaneously sky rocketing. The virus was lurking close to home awaiting its debut that would change the way we go about our daily lives indefinitely.
On March 13th, 2020 former President Donald J. Trump declared a nationwide emergency. Students around the country were ecstatic about a three day weekend thinking everything would subsequently return back to normal the following Tuesday. Meanwhile, just two days later, U.S. states began to shut down one by one and New York City public schools were ordered to close. At this point in time, many students, like myself, were uncertain whether they would be able to finish out the remainder of the school year in the same classrooms that they started it in.
When the statewide lockdown was put into place, I was a senior in high school. Up until this point in my life I have never been confronted with virtual learning and all the works that come along with it. I sympathize with the teachers who also had to make this transition and I commend them for carrying out classes through a computer screen. With applications like Google Classroom, we were able to complete assignments and finally turn them in for grading all on one platform. This system was very unfamiliar to me, but I had to comprehend it fast in order to catch up. Virtual schooling was something that was forced upon all of us in 2020 and it has followed me throughout my college career thus far.
Colleges across the country virtually welcomed students back to school in the Fall of 2020 making the college transition that much harder. Important events such as orientation were set to be online and students who participated ultimately toured a virtual campus. Prior to the start of the pandemic, events like this were held in person and students were able to interact with one another. However, given the critical circumstances, students must adjust to the new normal. Classes were exclusively online and the specific type of instruction varied amongst professors. With the state that the country was in just two years ago, colleges felt as though this decision was entirely necessary.
Present day 2022 COVID-19 numbers have drastically improved and the
mandates are loosening up by the day. Colleges have slowly brought back an on-campus presence but the way that we learn remains impacted. Some courses are still only offered online, leaving a given student with no other options depending on the situation. With this being said, tests along with homework assignments are conducted through the Blackboard application giving students the freedom to take exams from the comfort of their own homes. This has become more and more common ensuing the pandemic and in due time, could become the standardized way of doing things.
I feel as though despite all of the hardships surrounding virtual learning it has definitely been made possible. Two years ago in 2020 many people, including myself, were faced with feelings of bewilderment over this transition but made it work after all. The country was thrown into these circumstances and it was our responsibility to carry out daily life to the best of our abilities. Unfortunately, however, this meant that in-person instruction would have to succumb to virtual learning indefinitely.
Check out these memes on the Coronavirus “Bat Soup” Conspiracy: