For Wed 4/25

  1. Post Essay 2 Feedback for Jeicot Suarez.
  2. We are going to change gears for this one.  We are going to place Essay 2 on pause for this one and simply going to write for a bit—one paragraph, two, three…four pages; however long you want—about our respective experiences of the Covid crisis so far.  Write about whatever you’ve seen, write about what you’ve felt, write about people you’ve known who’ve caught it, write about something odd you’ve heard about it, write about someone you love who you worry might get it, write about working within it (if you’re still working), write about trying to continue with your classes in spite of it,  write about trying to ignore it, write about literally whatever comes to mind about it.
    (What you write here might be the beginning of an Essay 3: an extra-credit essay documenting your experience of some aspect of this once-every-century-or-so experience of living through a pandemic.)GO!

13 thoughts on “For Wed 4/25”

  1. I’m definitely over this pandemic. This is my first time living through a pandemic of this severity. I remember when this crisis was first originally talked about, I was one of the main people claiming “It’s only the flu.” “Millions of people die from the common cold every year, we’ll be fine.” Or my favorite line “Black people are immune to this.” I don’t know why I didn’t take it as serious as I should have in the beginning. Once the schools were shutting down, businesses were closing and people were ordered to socially distance themselves, I instantly started getting serious. I’m still an “essential” worker and the word is in quotation marks because it’s not like I want to be an “essential” worker… however, I also have these essential bills to pay… but I digressed. I’m still an “essential” worker at the animal hospital I work in. I work overnights at a twenty four hour facility and during these times they have been the most stressful times for my job. Not only were we running out of medical equipment, we were also running out of PPE (personal protective equipment). The fear of travelling to work every day didn’t sit well with me because I was afraid of giving anything to my elderly parents.
    I actually don’t want to write about my job, I want to talk about signs the universe gives us. Here is the story. My ex-best friend and I stopped speaking 4 years ago and actually we made plans to hash the situation out and sit down and talk. The weekend we made these plans was the day New York went on lockdown. Restaurants, cafes, etc. were all closed. Obviously the universe didn’t have a pandemic just so my ex- best friend and I wouldn’t have to talk, but it was just so weird that the one time we were finally both on the same page after all these years. BOOM a pandemic. I can’t help but wonder was that the universe’s way of telling me that it’s a terrible idea to rekindle any relationship with this friend or was it the universe’s way of giving me time to prepare my thoughts and approach for when I see her. All I know is if I see her or if I don’t see her this social distancing shit better be over soon before I lose my mind!

    1. Brittny,
      Thank you for this post–well, really it’s more than just a post: it’s the beginning of your Essay 3. I really like how you present us with an honest depiction of the way you minimized the deadliness of the virus in the weeks leading up to the lockdown (as probably all of us did). This sets up a nice shift into your change of mindset.
      A couple thoughts to develop for the essay (possibly):
      –the idea of the “essential” worker and how this term can mean many different things (I know you said you didn’t want to write about your job–and you wouldn’t necessarily have to all that much in order to develop an essay in which you deconstruct the notion of “essential”.)
      –the story of you and your ex-best friend and how the pandemic has interfered in this story: it seems like there’s a lot more to open up here!

      Lastly, I want us to start thinking more seriously about how to paragraph well. Many writers think of the paragraph as the basic unit of prose—they’re literally the bricks out of which essays are built. As such, they need to be strong and focused. Try to focus on designating 1 paragraph per episode or scene (in narrative writing) or 1 paragraph per idea/claim (in expository writing). Use paragraph breaks to signal that you are shifting between episodes or ideas—or shifting from telling a story to reflecting on it. Below is your post with some paragraph breaks that I’ve added:

      I’m definitely over this pandemic. This is my first time living through a pandemic of this severity. I remember when this crisis was first originally talked about, I was one of the main people claiming “It’s only the flu.” “Millions of people die from the common cold every year, we’ll be fine.” Or my favorite line “Black people are immune to this.” I don’t know why I didn’t take it as serious as I should have in the beginning.

      Once the schools were shutting down, businesses were closing and people were ordered to socially distance themselves, I instantly started getting serious. I’m still an “essential” worker and the word is in quotation marks because it’s not like I want to be an “essential” worker… however, I also have these essential bills to pay… but I digressed. I’m still an “essential” worker at the animal hospital I work in. I work overnights at a twenty four hour facility and during these times they have been the most stressful times for my job. Not only were we running out of medical equipment, we were also running out of PPE (personal protective equipment). The fear of travelling to work every day didn’t sit well with me because I was afraid of giving anything to my elderly parents.

      I actually don’t want to write about my job, I want to talk about signs the universe gives us. Here is the story. My ex-best friend and I stopped speaking 4 years ago and actually we made plans to hash the situation out and sit down and talk.

      The weekend we made these plans was the day New York went on lockdown. Restaurants, cafes, etc. were all closed. Obviously the universe didn’t have a pandemic just so my ex- best friend and I wouldn’t have to talk, but it was just so weird that the one time we were finally both on the same page after all these years. BOOM a pandemic.

      I can’t help but wonder was that the universe’s way of telling me that it’s a terrible idea to rekindle any relationship with this friend or was it the universe’s way of giving me time to prepare my thoughts and approach for when I see her. All I know is if I see her or if I don’t see her this social distancing shit better be over soon before I lose my mind!

      1. Hey !

        Thanks for your response . My problem is structuring my paragraphs to bring fluidity to my writing. I’m secretly looking more forward to working on this essay than essay 2 😀

  2. Sleep. Zoom. MSNBC. Paper Towels. Netflix. Groceries.

    This has been my schedule nonstop for nearly two months.. weeks.. days? Who’s keeping count anymore. I felt the distortion more so today than anytime last week. During our morning check-in, most of my classmates expressed that they’re feeling okay and have a set schedule in place with our classes still remote while I woke up today feeling like it’s Saturday – and every day this past month has been a Saturday.

    I’ve determined FOMO has been my worst enemy and I can’t help but to spread myself thin trying to act as productive as everyone else. I don’t know why I feel so behind (I do know, it’s the internal pressure). I’m trying my best to keep up the pace, but the pace keeps speeding up x3 once I get a single step ahead. It’s making me lose my mind. Every week there’s something new to participate in. A webinar on “how to job search during COVID” (*I got an email invite for a Seeking Employment during COVID-19 Panel as I wrote this*), 2 week-long hackathons, 3 coding challenges, 4 hangout parties, 5 live Zumba classes, 6 COVID-19 volunteer projects. And that was only within the first week of quarantine. I can barely take a trip to the grocery store without feeling the weight of the city in chaos slowing me down.

    Overstimulation. It’s too much to deal with. It’s getting easier and easier to forget about the musts of my life and focus on the “needs”, like a 12-hour accidental nap and a 6 season tv show binge. It’s weird to think the world expects us to keep working as normal when there’s a pandemic attacking the world outside my doorstep. The most non-stressful thing I’ve done was show my grandmother how to use Zoom for our Sunday family zoom chats. She’ll master it eventually. The Zoom meetings are not the most glamorous 3 hours of our time, especially with both my grandparents holding the phone so close to their faces that all we see is noses each time they show up on the screen, but it helps to keep us all a little sane. We all go a little loco talking to the same person for 6 out of 7 days of the week. Even for my introverted self.

    I can’t wait to see what the new normal will be, whenever it’ll come. Feels like it won’t be until 2021 when we’re able to safely sit inside a classroom. Can’t say Zoom classes are ideal for Fall 2020, but it beats getting sick, right? Or potentially harming someone else. I’m hoping the new normal will include much more communication beyond just extended family and forgotten Facebook friends. My professor mentioned today that it’s exhausting teaching to a muted/video off online classroom for several hours a day. I forget how draining it must be for all the educators still pushing through the semester. The need for human contact, a human connection, is an instinct we can’t fight. We want to be close to one another, even if it’s inside a remote classroom. I finally figured out how to do virtual backgrounds, so maybe I’ll take one for the team and start sharing my face during my classes – including English. Maybe one connection would be enough to get us through the day.

    Anyways, that’s the end of my rant. I have 6 new To-Do lists extensions and apps to try and forget about. Wish me luck and sanity.

  3. At first, when I heard of the coronavirus and everything that was going on in China, I did not take it as serious because I never really encountered something of this magnitude. As a matter of fact, I used to joke with my parents and say, “Watch somebody from over there try to escape and bring it over here.” Oh well look how the tide has turned. I remember even being in this English class when the official news was announced and remembering the joy I had that I would not have to be back at City Tech until the end of August, at least. I thought being at home would give me more time to accomplish certain things as well as would allow me to go different places with my friends; since, everything was not closed down then. Man, I was wrong. Then, when some of my classmates and I were saying our goodbyes to each other before heading our separate ways, it really hit me. Like damn. It’s just over like that. What I did not know was that that would be the new norm that I would face from that time on.

    I never would have imagined that some of the last people I encountered that week before the quarantine effectively took place would be the last time I would ever see them. I can’t even say that if I had known that I would’ve embraced them even longer because sadly, I would have put myself, as well as my family and other loved ones, in even more danger by coming into contact with me. All I have is memories of their last gesture, their last smile, their last greeting, their last appearance. Some people I imagined would be strong enough to beat it didn’t. What makes me feel better is that they’re not dealing with any pain or discomfort anymore, and they’re able to peacefully rest in Heaven.

    What has affected me, besides these events, is being stuck at home for the majority of the time. It was cool, at first, to be around family and get to bond closer, but now I’m so damn tired of roaming past the same walls. Every. Single. Day. I have no set sleep schedule anymore; I just go to bed whenever I feel tired and wake up at different times each day with no motivation to accomplish anything unless I force myself too. Even turning this to OpenLab on time was a task for me.

    I miss being able to see my friends and other family members. I’ve felt as if I haven’t been able to fully embrace anyone for a long time now, and at times, it kills me to even think about it. Certain people that I would see every week I have not talk to as much since the quarantine due to them either being tied up with whatever tasks and work they need to accomplish, or they may be too depressed and closed out to their loved ones due to their isolation and/or issues that may have came up in their lives as a result of this virus. It’s almost been two months since we did not have social distancing on our conscience, and I feel that even when this is over, it will still remain on our conscience for a while until we fully become able to embrace each other without overly thinking if it’s the right thing to do.

    What I could positively take away from this experience is the amount of rekindling of relationships that I have had with friends and other people I know. Being isolated during this time makes you self-reflect a lot about past experiences, and I am glad that I have been able to either reach out to people or have people reach out to me to either fix what needed to be mended or just catch up more with each other in strengthening a relationship that would not have happened if we were still busy outside. Hopefully, whenever this thing is over, that connection will still continue. Whenever I come out of this pandemic, I know that there will be a lot of things I would change or take into perspective more, knowing that everything you could be doing currently can be taken away in an instance; the coronavirus has made me become even more grateful for the circumstances I took for granted.

    To be continued……

  4. Coronavirus, better known as Covid-19 has been a pure pain in the ass. Not just for me but for just about everyone. For beginners I absolutely hate walking around with a face mask and gloves on all day. The heat from my breath blurs the vision I get from my glasses. Oh’ and how I can’t breath! Being a healthcare worker myself and having to wear the mask at work you would think I am used to the feeling of being suffocated by the mask but that’s far from the case. The gloves are not so bad except when I wanna send a text message, which is like every five minutes. Can you sense my sarcasm?

    Covid-19 has made me realize, (excuse my profanity) people are fucking stupid. The amount of people I’ve seen touch everything in the store then eat with the same gloves they used to touch everything is beyond me. It gets worse, the people upset that were on lockdown as if it’s not the thing keeping us alive. I thought the ignorant people hanging out on street corners in large groups were bad but that is nothing compared to people protesting against staying inside. If it was up to me I would say let everyone do as they please and watch as natural selection happens. The dumb always dies first.

    Grocery shopping is the new Black Friday. Stores are empty and getting something as simple as bread is a mission. Everything I dream of cooking something I am craving it’s not even in the damn store! What’s most annoying about shopping is the people who overbuy everything because they think the world is freaking ending. Why do people feel the need to buy 1,000 rolls of toilet tissue? I have no idea, its pure stupidity.

    This stupid virus does come with some pros like the lovely stimulus check that was deposited into my account at random. The excuse to take off work early was also a plus. But, the best about it all was the switch to complete online schooling. It’s hard to manage but it’s giving me a chance to start clean if this semester doesn’t go as planned. This semester is super rocky for me being a pregnant freshman but with the option to pick between a letter grade or a pass is good enough for me to balance.

    Though the virus is a pain in the ass it’s more heartbreaking than anything else. My friend recently lost her dad, her best friend to the virus and to see that hurt my feelings too. She would always tell stories about him and talk about him in class. We bonded over the love we have for our dads and she lost hers forever. After seeing that the virus gave more of a wake up call that I already had before.

  5. Covid-19. Throughout the start of the outbreak, I like most other people didn’t take it seriously. I was excited that school was closing and thought that the online class would be easier. I lot has happened since the beginning of the outbreak until now to change my perspective and why this virus should be taken seriously.

    Earlier this month my mother lost her best friend Eve. that was a shock to me. You never realize how deadly something until it hit close to home. My mother had heard her best friend was sick on a Monday. My mom’s best friend downplays the virus-like most of us at that time did even though she had most of the symptoms. That dry cough and fever. However, we shrugged it off. Wednesday came, Eve called my mom saying that she wants my mom to cook her food and bring it to her. That’s the day that my mom told me what was going on with eve. I told my mom ain’t no way I’m letting her go bring eve food. I was joking with my mother and told her “eve might have the virus”. Her daughter came to get the food. Thursday night, Eve went to the hospital. Friday when my mom called eve, she said she was fine. Saturday while my mom was making breakfast my dad called and told her Eve was dead. I’ve never taken something so serious until that moment. I was more shocked than confused. Never in a million years would I think it would hit that close to home.

    All Saturday all I thought about was “oh shit we have it too” one we were talking to eve daughter for way to all and we were too close to each other. I called my sister and my brother that Monday we went to get tested. Monday night it felt like I was in hell paying for my sin of my ancestors. The fever was unbearable. Out of nowhere with a heavy comforter on me and sock on my feet, I get chills. I was confused like why and how am I cold. Not little chills teeth chattering coldness with heavy shivering. this continued throughout the week with decreasing intensity throughout. Thursday was when my test result came. My Family tried to hide this from me. However, I got my mom upset by not drinking one of her “remedies”. Trust me it was disgusting it was aloe, with ginger garlic beets and whole Buch of nastiness. And she told me “I know you may not think these don’t work but you have the virus I’m doing this for you” you could see the tear coming from her eyes. After being told that I didn’t know what to feel. Like subconsciously I already knew I had the virus because I’m not the type to get sick I don’t get colds nor fevers. Being told you have its different. You overthink everything because all you hear is about those who don’t survive. Finding out that night I cried I thought I was going to die. Not because of my symptoms but because of all the stigma and negative connotation of covid-19. My scare went as far as me from Friday morning to Saturday writing 14 different letters to different people in case I died.

    At the start of this pandemic, I thought I would be the last person to catch it. Not because I was careful taking all the precautions but because I was skeptical of covid-19. But covid-19 was like tag your it. This virus a teaching moment for me it came in a horrible form, but it set somethings into perceptive. I’m thankful that recovered.

  6. Hello professor,

    Sorry for the late assignments I hope you are doing well.

    ****
    Frankly, I haven’t had the time to be able to process this turn of events just yet. The fact that I’ve been stuck at home, has made me really unproductive than I usually am. I know several people that I’ve talked to, who are not doing too well these days but we are all trying to get by the best we can.
    I haven’t seen my friends or even gone out to get sunlight in well over 20 days and the rare times I actually go out are for small errands such as grocery shopping.

    It’s a crazy feeling because my father was staying in Ecuador for a family visit in the early stages of COVID-19 and then we come to find out that the spread of the virus is way more serious than it was being talked about and well he is stuck there until the airports are open/safe for travel and we can’t really do much about that.

    This whole time I’ve had a lot of time on my plate to reflect on my life choices and all the things that I have the room to improve on. To take my time off this strange time in our lives, I decided I was going to do something positive for myself. So far I taught myself 20 ways to cook a healthy meal from the ingredients I have at home. So far nobody at home has complained about my cooking so I’ll take that with a pinch of salt lol. I also thought about picking up a book; I’m not a book kinda guy but now that we are having a money problem, I thought I would learn about finance to ease the anxiety from not having a source of income in the future.

    I have heard several strange rumors such as home medicines that can kill off the virus which is definitely a hoax in my opinion. The one that baffles me the most, in particular, is “sniffing alcohol can kill the virus” because that just doesn’t sit right with me. There is no way that could be healthy for anyone, and it’s so crazy to me because I have seen with my own eyes people who believe this stuff.

    Hopefully when this is all over we can be more friendly to one another and leave differences aside and just appreciate living on this earth because its a beautiful sight once you stop and stare at the view outside.

  7. Covid-19
    A dual natured disease that is part curse and part blessing. It is serious to whom it is a threat, but most dangerous to those who undermine it. Despite being desensitized by the news growing up, I manage to take this situation seriously, but refuse to lose my head over it. There must be a balance between staying safe and staying sane, and my family is trying our best to maintain that balance. We take the necessary precautions and try not to focus on the effect that it’s having on our lives more than we have to. Everyone is living in uncertainty and fear, and with good reason. This outbreak is something horrifically new to all of us, and its success in spreading is only validating our panic. But the worst thing we can do is lose our sanity.

    Not far into the quarantine, I felt trapped. I started to feel how suddenly life took this drastic turn. Everything changed in an instant, and day to day life became unrecognizable. I never thought of it like that, but that’s what it was. It stunned me mentally and made me really anxious to get out and resume normal life, or at least get another taste of normalcy. I had lost my footing and no longer felt grounded in reality. Fortunately, with the help of some cool rainy days and time to myself (at the expense of some assignments) I was able to get a grip. I have accepted that this is what it is right now, and most likely how it will be for some time. And with that acceptance, I was able to begin adjusting to this new lifestyle.

    With a clear head, I am able to appreciate the time that this pandemic has gifted me. I have more time to do what I love, and more time with the people I love. I mean, I thought that confining myself indefinitely with the same three people could only end in the severance of our ties, and denouncement of our relations. Yet here I am after more than a month of consistent exposure, only feeling closer to (and more love for) those same individuals.

    I’ve had more time to think. I’ve had more time to imagine. I’ve had more time to create, and learn. I figured out how to sample sounds on garage band, and how to make candles, and how to turn covid-19 into david-19 with just two lines. And there hasn’t been one time that I’ve felt “bored.” In fact, I don’t feel like I have enough time in the day for myself. (That’s mostly because of assignments, but I digress.) When I get the hang of this “time management” thing, I think this time off will be very profitable for me.
    Though the storm rages on outside my house, within my quarters I am safe. This gives me a piece of mind.

  8. This entire pandemic has me lost for words and I am not sure where to start. I’ve been trapped in my house for about two months and began to feel drained from not having a change in my routine. When New York initially went into a pandemic, I did not believe that there was a actual virus and did not think that it would get to the point that we are at now. Everyday I question myself about reality and if it may be more than just a virus. I’ve been told that some of my family friends have passed on and some of my family have tested positive for the virus. A part of me has had hope that our everyday lives will be restored soon but honestly that hope has practically faded away. My parents are being extremely over protective and even if businesses begin to open up, I know that I wont have my life back until everything is completely over. I miss being able to have freedom to see my my friends and commute to school.

  9. Honestly I have mixed feeling about the pandemic. First is that I didn’t believe it was real as everything seemed fine one second and then all of a sudden, madness. I still don’t believe that it appeared out of nowhere, I think there’s a reason why it’s happening and spreading so fast. There’s so many theories I’ve heard about these shows and movies and of course The Simpsons, that state that this whole virus is set up and something big is about to happen. I don’t know what to believe at this point.

    I hate living like this, it’s boring and feels like I’m wasting my life by waiting for someone to come up with a cure and there’s no reassurance that there even is a cure. It’s sad to see people losing their lives from the virus that might be real or might just be the government’s work. Another thing is living in a pandemic when you just got through a breakup and going through all your emotions without any kind of distractions, I’m getting better but it was pretty ugly these past months of quarantine. It kind of (emphasis on kind of) helped me too as I faced my emotions rather than bottling them up which would’ve made me explode later maybe at a bad timing. But anyways, it sucks repeating the same day over and over again, I’m afraid that im going to get so used to staying inside that when it’s all over I might not even want to go out. Also, I miss my friends and some of my family that loves far as I was supposed to visit them this summer. Talking about the summer, that’s another bad thing as we might not get to have a summer and as a person who travels every summer, that’s terrible. But mostly, how many lives have been lost and the way the bodies are being treated afterwards is the worst thing that has happened.

    It’s also good in a way. I learned so many things about myself that I didn’t before. I’ve gotten comfortable with my singing and drawing that I even started posting it. I’ve also learned to love my own company. Also, I’ve gotten closer to my family. I know what friends actually care about me and the ones I’ve lost contact with over the years have also reached out to me. I feel like we all needed it because we were so deep into the world and the lives we created right now that we forgot who we truly are when we’re alone and where we came from.

    But besides the good things, I still want this pandemic to end because we’ve had enough bonding time with family and I don’t want to waste time and actually live my life and work on my goals. I’m tired to living like this so can we please just stay home so this thing can end?

  10. All things considered, this pandemic has some positive qualities attached. I’ve had more time to focus on classes and myself and the outcomes have been positive. My job has been slow so that has helped me really learn the skills they require me to do, as I am still a new employee. However, the negatives definitely outweigh the positives. Lots of people are dying at an astronomical rate and I fear for people like my grandparents, who are more vulnerable and at-risk than anyone. In regards to this, I am unable to see them at all.

    This time in New York City really has changed the “norm”. There are fewer people in the streets and on the trains, everyone is wearing a mask and keeping far away from each other, which is unusual on a subway. This pandemic has put us all on pause and has taken over the rest of the year. It’s also a wake-up call to everyone, it lets us know to practice better hygiene and health all around, and everyone is more conscious of germs and bacteria now.

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