Two weeks ago, I wrote an article about coronavirus. I spoke of how everyone needs to calm down and think with their heads rather than fear. Since then, the situation has changed rapidly.
While I still maintain my previous position – I must admit it is getting sticky out there.
The climate of our world right now is chaotic to say the least. A long with the chaos came cancellations a plenty. First, there was the email from Dr. Farley cancelling in person classes at least until the week of March 30th.
This decision to move classes online brought an immediate influx of panicky texts, emails and news announcements.
Students were and continue to be worried about their on-campus jobs, the events they were planning, the sports they were playing and the overall future of their education.
Since all of this started almost a week ago, I have been overwhelmed by the speculation, rumors, and realities which started to unfold during this time.
Second, there was the sudden cancellation of all of the sports programs. I have never played college sports, but I know that couldn't have been easy for any of the participants to have heard. I've been lucky to see the passion so many student athletes poured into it their various sports over the last four years. It saddens me to know that for some of them their final season was cut short.
Third, came all the different events people had worked so hard on being cancelled (WIFI Film Festival, The Big Event, WUmester events, etc.). Students and faculty have worked so hard on so many of these events only to be let down by this virus they have no control over.
It seems whole-heartedly unfair.
Then, came the cancellation of in-person classes indefinitely, and the word that not only were some colleges cancelling their commencement ceremonies, but that all of Kansas was to suspend K-12th schooling for the rest of the semester. Things were starting to feel extra out of control, and the fear of Washburn cancelling commencement became very real, and as a senior who planned to walk in spring, the thought nearly broke my heart.
Finally, it happened. We got the email that stated the spring 2020 commencement ceremonies would be cancelled. Personally, my heart sank.
I was never one who really wanted to sit through the 2hr+ graduation. I came from a very small town. My high school graduation took 20min tops (there were only 9 of us). But to have the option completely taken away from me was something I was unprepared for.
It's crazy how much something can mean to you without you knowing it. Now, I'm not stupid I know why everything needs to be cancelled, but I wish it didn't have to be.
I am sad, disappointed, and numb. I feel like I have always been at least a little in control of my life, and now the future seems uncertain. This is such a terrible time for an existential crisis.
Speaking of control, I want to take a moment to thank the faculty and staff at Washburn University for handling all this craziness as it comes. It is important for all of us to remember that while it may seem like the administration is controlling everything, they are at the mercy of the lawmakers at the state and federal levels. Social distancing policies are advising against gatherings that have more than 10 or 20 people for at least 8 weeks possibly more. It's a tense time.
The administration at Washburn had some hard decisions to make and it is important we recognize during this time that we aren’t upset with them. We are upset because all this virus stuff is happening in general and we are upset it is out of our control.
Saying that all of this has been a shock to my system is an understatement, as I am sure is the case for everyone dealing with it.
We are all living with some not so favorable realities right now.
This is why it is so important for all of us to take care of the things we CAN control and avoid spreading germs as much as possible. Let's do our best to flatten the curve.
I hope everyone reading this is healthy, safe and making the best out of their quarantine. Cancelled doesn't mean hopeless. We all have to remember that.
That is the tea from me to WU.
Edited by Adam White, Abbie Barth, Hannah Alleyne, Wesley Tabor