Life during the COVID-19 pandemic has continued to press forward with many new adjustments. With stay-at-home orders set in place by state governments, students are left with no method of meeting in person. Because of the ongoing circumstances, many individuals have turned to digital platforms in order to stay in touch with loved ones.
Applications such as Zoom and FaceTime are becoming increasingly popular as people have been forced to utilize alternative forms of gathering.
Marissa Hernandez, sophomore sociology major, elaborated on the ways she stays connected with family and friends.
“Zoom and FaceTime have been my best friends lately,” Hernandez said. “Since we are supposed to stay home, it’s the easiest way to keep in contact with my loved ones during this time.”
Daniel Barrios, sophomore film major, explained how he can continue with his interests even during this current season of social isolation.
“I mainly use Instagram, Twitter, Skype, WebEx, Snapchat and Letterboxd,” Barrios said. “When specifically referring to people interested in film, Letterboxd is good for sharing movie reviews and interests with friends on the platform. It keeps everyone updated on what other people are watching and invites them to have a discussion about it.”
Many students have expressed that they have found new ways to continue the activities that are important to them while staying at home.
Michele Mendoza, senior nursing major, described her experience with continuing to fellowship within her community.
“I am currently doing three different Bible studies, all with different groups of people,” Mendoza said. “It’s awesome to still be in contact and doing Discovery Bible Study with my ISP team. It’s so sad we weren’t able to continue our journey in North Africa, but at least now we can still stay connected throughout this crazy time.”
Various clubs and organizations affiliated with CBU have adapted to the changing environment to ensure some sense of normalcy during a time in which “normal” seems so distant from reality.
Madeline Karnes, vice president of CBU’s Disney Club, said the club has been working to stay connected with students.
“Disney Club has begun incorporating ‘virtual movie nights’ or ‘Netflix parties’ into our routine in an effort to bring a feeling of community between our club members,” Karnes said. “We also recently participated in an inter-club event with UCLA’s Disney Club. They invited other schools, including CBU, to participate in their most recent club Zoom meeting, where those who participated were able to listen to a presentation on a Disneyland topic.”
Students from the CBU community and beyond are enduring diverse situations related to the global climate regarding COVID-19. These unprecedented experiences have allowed many to self-reflect during this time of social isolation.
“This quarantine has brought me to appreciate each and every person in my life so much more,” Hernandez said. “You never know what you’re missing until it’s gone. Even though I am not with my friends and family, I’ve learned to appreciate things that would have been seen as minor before, such as text messages and short phone calls. That’s all we can do now, so the best thing I can do is be grateful for all that I have and the many different ways I can communicate with my family and friends.”
Barrios expressed his frustrations with the many challenges that social distancing laws bring.
“Connecting via technology can feel very empty sometimes. It feels more like a regression than a progression,” Barrios said.
“The biggest difference is not being able to physically be with everyone,” Hernandez said. “During this time, I’ve come to really miss being able to hug my family and friends, but I try not to dwell on things we are not able to do. I instead hold all the times I have been able to do things very close to my heart.”
This era that humans across the world are experiencing is unprecedented. The university has made it clear that it is still here for its students even during a time where everyone must remain physically distant.
“As we walk through this experience together, let us all keep focused on the truths we know and put off the temptation to be shaken by what we do not know,” said Dr. John Montgomery, campus pastor and dean of Spiritual Life, in a reflection sent to all students in March.