Home Coronavirus Seen and heard: Impact of another shutdown

Seen and heard: Impact of another shutdown

(Abby Haywood/The Collegiate).

By Collegiate Staff

Now that we are at the start of another lockdown, this one is projected to last for three weeks. This is impacting college students in many different ways, whether that be losing their jobs again or having a shift in their school schedules. The Collegiate took time to reflect on how this shutdown will be impacting us.

Hannah Kieffer, 20, Coopersville 

I am very fortunate that my place of employment will remain open during this second lockdown. I may see an increase in hours if others decide they are not comfortable working at this time. All of my classes are already online, so there are no changes to my schedule in regard to classes either. However, it is very hard to remain positive at this time. Many professors are telling students the importance of mental health, while continuing to pile on assignment after assignment. I feel like many professors have given excessive amounts of busy work, without regard to the state of the world. This wasn’t a regular online semester, given the collective trauma the world is continuing to go through. I hope next semester professors will be more considerate of the toll this pandemic has taken on frontline workers, who are also students. 

Kaia Zimmerman, 18, Lowell

This shutdown does affect me because I work at an event center in a country club, so I did lose my job for the time being. I have to look for a new job while the shutdown is in place. While this is affecting me in a negative way, I know it is important that we take the necessary precautions, and I do think it was a good decision to shut down. One good thing is my school will not be affected by the shutdown because I have been taking classes online all semester. I am trying to keep a positive mindset during this time, but it is hard with all the chaos going around the world right now. Please wear a mask! 

Sean Chase, 30, Newaygo

The most recent “soft” shutdown has impacted my life quite a bit more than I had expected. In March, when the first shutdown happened, I was under the assumption that cancelling in-person school would make my college experience easier. I, however, didn’t expect my anxiety and depression to worsen as the structure I had become accustomed to disappeared. As the length of the last shutdown extended, I found myself falling deeper and deeper into a dark pit of despair. That descent into the darkness had horrendous effects on my grades, as I stopped turning in homework and attending weekly zoom calls. This time around, I have more of an understanding around what to expect, and that knowledge will be essential to the preservation of my mental health. 

Breegan Petruska, 19, Grand Rapids

I’ve been anticipating another shutdown for the past few weeks. I’ve honestly been hoping that it would happen. I work in the restaurant industry, so there is so much opportunity for negative exposure. Knowing a potential shutdown was coming, I looked for other jobs just in case I were to lose mine. Luckily, they are planning on keeping me for takeout, so I will still have a solid income. I’m hoping that this partial closing will help with our case numbers and keep our state safe. I know people are tired and ready for life to go back to normal, but we cannot go back to our normal at this point. I just want us to be healthy and safe. 

Paige Bodine, 19, Grand Rapids

The second shutdown has been something that has been rumored about for weeks. Now that we have lived through the first one I feel like people know what to expect. I work at a retirement home and the residents had just started eating lunch and dinner in the dining room so it will be a struggle to get them to understand why they are back in their rooms. Having a positive attitude and finishing the semester strong are the two main things that I am going to focus on during the three-week shutdown. I feel like focusing on the things that we can control instead of the unknown is going to be crucial to making the most of the next three weeks. 

Andrew Harper, 21, Byron Center

As far as the shutdown is concerned, my job has not been affected by it at all. At Walgreens, we have had a social distancing policy since the start of the pandemic since March. We may see less customers come into the store as people in the area are trying to keep themselves and their families safe. With college, I am actually happy that all classes are going virtual. To me, this is a great benefit because I don’t have to travel to the campus and put miles on my vehicle especially during the winter. 

Kory Goldsmith, 32, Grandville

Although the Goodwill Outlet where I work hasn’t been shut down and I don’t think it will get shut down, I do feel things will change with my hours being cut due to the outlet being forced to cut the number of people that can shop at one time which means less sales. For me, I haven’t struggled much with online learning. I think there’s been a smooth transition for me because I have already taken several online classes prior to last winter when things got moved around. 

Aspen Strauss, 18, Alto

Personally, I am very lucky that my job along with my college learning is going to be unaffected by the second wave that has hit us once again. My job communicates through Zoom, similarly to my classes, and because I truly haven’t lost much from these “state of emergencies” I am content with where I am. The shutdown, although upsetting and irritating, will not affect the way I have been living since the beginning of the pandemic because I truly don’t travel much outside of my house other than occasionally making a trip to Culvers to get lunch at the drive-thru.  

Sharon Becker, 49, Grand Rapids

The second “shut-down” begins today. I did not go to the grocery store to stock up on any toilet paper or canned food. I wonder if I will regret my choice (my laziness). Fortunately, I do have food in my pantry and freezer. I may not be able to feast on prime pickings but I will be able to wipe off some iced-crusted, $2 frozen pizza, dust off some cans of chunky bean soup (who bought that anyway!?) and therefore, clean out my pantry and freezer as I save money NOT buying (hoarding) more groceries than I need to buy.

This Nov. 18, shut down will not change my job because, ironically, I finished my 2020 coaching season on Sun., Nov. 15. I was able to visit the Ford Fieldhouse one last time on Tues., Nov. 17 to finalize some season work, projects and even virtual zoom with potential recruits. It is like this second shut-down was tailored around my personal schedule. Thank you, Gretchen, for waiting until after our GRCC XC team ran our championship meet in Iowa!

Last week we knew that the number of positive coronavirus cases (people) in Michigan were rising very fast and higher. We all knew this shutdown was imminent. I began thinking about how I will be handling this second shut-down differently and better than I handled the first Spring 2020 quarantine. I began to wonder if others were making similar plans or similar “round 2” resolutions.

Mya Gregory, 18, Grand Rapids

Luckily, this shutdown won’t be affecting me that much. At the beginning of the year, due to the pandemic, I chose to switch to all online classes, so my college experience will not be further affected. I also try to stay home as much as possible, due to my safety and the safety of others. What will change however, is that I have a younger sister in high school, and both of my parents are in education, so the house will once again, be full, as they are doing online learning as well. Also, many of my friends who chose to go to college in person will be coming home, and if the shutdown continues to progress,  I won’t be able to see them. But, I will continue to limit going out and interacting with people to limit the spread and I hope others do their part as well.

Sherry Sokolowski, 19, Hudsonville

For a few weeks now I have been anticipating another shutdown. With COVID-19 cases drastically spiking up all over the place, it was only a matter of time. I was disappointed to say the least when I got word of the announcement because many important events I was involved in this week were cancelled as a result. However, I’m fortunate enough to keep my jobs and be able to smoothly transition to working from home again. Additionally, all five of my courses were fully online to begin with so I do not have to make any transitions there. What is beyond belief for me is the fact that in four months it will be a whole year with COVID-19 affecting our lives. I’m just hopeful that this second shutdown will be enough to motivate people to truly follow the guidelines and finally diminish the surging curve so we can all regain our everyday normal lives. 

Rebecca Larsen, 20, Allendale

My lockdown experience looks a little bit different because I had COVID-19 and was finally able to leave my quarantine starting Wed., Nov.  18. I had planned to go to the library to crank out some homework to get caught back up after being sick. Well, this also fell on the same day the new order took effect. So instead of three weeks it will be five weeks for me. As most people are frustrated about the new order, you can probably understand that I am just as frustrated. As long as we stay positive and hope to see numbers go down it will all be worth it in the long run.