“Living through historic times” is another thing to add to a long list of concepts that theoretically sound kind of cool but are awful in real life, especially when the historic aspect is centered around a viral pandemic. The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic may have ebbed and flowed over the past two years, but it has changed our way of life as we know it, perhaps permanently.
The Montclarion has always been student-centric, but it’s not often we get to hear students speak directly on their innermost struggles. Each of us more or less spent two years alone, mentally if not physically, and that kind of isolation does not have a passive effect. It leaves you with something or changes you somehow, for better or worse.
It’s easy to get wrapped up in your own thoughts and feelings. Every single person you pass on the street, on campus or in your car, is going through something completely unique, moment by moment. That can be astounding to even consider, but our experiences inform our short and long-term reactions to things and shape everything we do.
COVID-19, with all the grief and heaviness it brought us, also emphasized this reality, as proven by the snippets of other lives we saw, read, watched and discovered. Everyone had to cope differently, finding ways to pass the time or hang on for one more day.
Now that we’re all seeing each other face-to-face, quarantine feels even more distant, and most of us probably prefer it that way. But pushing our memories of quarantine away can make us forget that everyone else has those memories, too, and if there’s anything we need now more than ever, it’s empathy. Collectively, we have all been through so much; individually, whatever we each carry with us from that time is only compounded by that weight.
We hope reading some of these student experiences can provide perspective and help serve as a reminder to always be kind and treat other people well. You never know what someone else has been through.