Positivity in a World of COVID-19 

COVID-19 is a threat to the Albion College campus community, which is why guidelines have been installed, including wearing masks, to protect students, faculty and staff. This and many other changes have been made in light of COVID-19, both on Albion's campus and around the world (Photo by Jordan Revenaugh).

Over the past eight months, the news hasn’t done much more than present the death and devastation caused by COVID-19. Even in social circles, people incessantly complain about how COVID-19 has thoroughly disrupted their lives. 

There is no doubt that the virus has impacted people in serious and solemn ways. When looking more closely at this year, however, it is evident that 2020 has also brought about positive changes that promote goodness and hope.

Jackie Masternak, an academic assistant for physics and biology, said that she was grateful for the time to learn new skills and just slow down.

“I think families have gotten closer together,” said Masternak.  “Learning to cook, learning to garden, things like that.” 

Masternak said that due to COVID-19 things have decelerated quite a bit in her life, and she’s had more time to relax and reflect on life without worrying about having too much to do. 

“A lot of people have taken the time to learn skills they never thought of doing or adopted pets because they had more free time,” said Masternak. “Our society was going faster and faster, so it’s super nice to have this time to slow down without all the hustle and bustle.”

Hannah Woods, a senior from Macomb,  said COVID-19 has had a huge impact on her life. Woods said that her summer internship was cancelled due to the virus, forcing her to change her thesis. In addition, she said she is feeling more stressed than ever due to the accelerated speed of classes. However, Woods acknowledged that not every change has been bad. 

“I feel like communicating with people is a lot easier, just because there’s so many different ways to do it now,” said Woods. “If you miss a meeting, you’re able to watch it virtually.” 

Another thing she said has improved due to COVID-19 is society’s compassion as a whole. 

“In this time humanity has just gotten really close together, and we’re in a state where we care about other people more than we ever have,” said Woods.

Spanish Professor Dr. Kalen Oswald said while he doesn’t necessarily believe the pandemic has led to anything too profound, he admits there have been a few side benefits.

“I’ve learned some things about technology that will help once this is all over,” said Oswald. “Another side benefit of the whole thing is that it forced a simplification of people’s schedules. In my family, for instance, there were so many activities and events cancelled that it allowed us to spend more time together as a family and build relationships in a way we may not have with a hurried schedule.”

About Shannon Barba 22 Articles
Shannon Barba is a sophomore from Marshall, Michigan, currently double majoring in physics and computer science. After Albion, he hopes to attend graduate school at MIT. In addition to being Co-Marketing Coordinator for the Pleiad, Barba is the Engagements Chair of Student Senate, participant in the Prentiss M. Brown Honors program, member of the Student Volunteer Bureau, mentor for first-year students, pianist for Albion's Jazz Band, representative for the Committee of Student Learning, mentor for Harrington Elementary School, and a member of the Biochemistry Club.

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