What Now?

Kat Namon ’22

Managing Editor

The coronavirus pandemic has changed lives across the globe in a mere number of months. This fact isn’t new, it isn’t groundbreaking, and I’m sure anyone reading this is well aware of the situation at hand. We are being advised (and should listen to these guidelines if we care about the well-being of others and ourselves) to stay home, and sacrifice our daily routines for an uncertain amount of time.

I, like many other students around the world, am disappointed. It’s hard to deal with being sent home from school mid-semester, it’s hard to leave when everything is unfinished, it’s hard to say goodbye to people when you don’t know when you’ll see them again. However, despite these depressing circumstances, we (and by we, I mean students from the ages of 14-25 or older) are living through a historic occurrence. 

As much as part of me wants to sit back and passively watch it all play out on CNN in my secluded middle-of-nowhere house in Connecticut, I feel guilty for it. My dad gets up every day still to go to work at a hospital near our town where he’s seeing patients, and though these patients are beginning to dwindle in numbers due to the increasing fears of contraction, he’s really making a difference. I realize that staying home and doing our parts of social distancing and continuing on with our studies to the best of our ability are incredibly positive contributions, however I think there’s a little more that can be done in some situations.

I am not referring to people who may not have the resources or time or capacity to do more at this time, I am well aware this is a global crisis that is tragic for many people in many different ways. I’m referring to people like me. People who are safe, who are secluded, and who can and should do more. I don’t know exactly what can be done in this situation, and I’m starting to realize more people are in a similar position to me than I thought, including those who run this country. I do firmly believe, however, that as a student I have a responsibility to see this as an opportunity to grow and to document this unprecedented occurrence in global history.  

It’s really ironic that the first editorial I wrote with my Co-Managing Editor Liz Foster ’22 back in the beginning of February was on colleges coping with the emergence of this novel virus, and in this article we even made a joke about it, adding a little humor to, at the time, a potentially unsettling subject. We didn’t know the extent to which this could blow up, and it sure did blow up in our faces.

I don’t necessarily regret this editorial, because I think it’s telling of how everyone has approached the situation. We’re all making predictions that aren’t necessarily going to play out how we expect, and this is true of everyone in the world, from students to policymakers. I am actually glad that we wrote about this topic early on, even when no one was sure what it would turn into. I was watching YouTube videos this afternoon and was reminded of a quote that is especially relevant in this tumultuous era, “The more you know, the more you realize you don’t know.” This was either Aristotle or Albert Einstein, but regardless of who said it, they nailed it. None of us know much right now.  

Writing about the world around us is critical at this point in time. Take note of what is going on and don’t just turn a blind eye. Although I am an advocate of preserving mental health by limiting media exposure, I also believe this can lead to irresponsible behavior on the part of people who choose to ignore the reality of the situation. I think an incredibly valuable thing, for people who are able, is to record how you are feeling, what is happening to you in your current surroundings, and how those around you feel about living in the midst of a global pandemic outbreak.

Writing about what is happening is our responsibility as the current youth of the world and no one else is going to do it for us. It’s important that we accept what we don’t know, and try our best to learn more, and to be open to challenging the situation we’ve been dealt. I personally am planning to turn to developing my writing skills during this time of isolation as a coping mechanism, and I hope others choose to do so as well, so that these writings can eventually be compiled and archived for future Trinity students to look back on and learn from.

We’re the pandemic kids, let’s embrace our new identity.

bclark

Brendan W. Clark '21 is the current Editor-in-Chief of the Trinity Tripod, Trinity College's student newspaper.

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