Below is the personal testimony of a young adult. As we know, young people are just as much at-risk as other populations such as the elderly, or those of us with pre-exisiting health conditions. But the pandemic has impacted everyone in various aspects with most young people experiencing an abrupt transition to online education programs and a rocky start from graduation to establishing themselves as adults. This young lady is no different. Check out the blog post below to see an example of how young adults are persevering during COVID-19.
My name is Jade Colón. I am a recent graduate of Ohio University with a B.A. in Communication Studies and a minor in Spanish. I thoroughly enjoy learning about interpersonal communication and believe in the power of being personable. I think it’s important to be as candid as possible in any interactions with the community and strive to make meaningful connections with the people I work with. My passion for travel and learning languages recently led me to participate in a study abroad program through my college, which I regard as one of the best experiences of my life.
Not only did I sharpen my command of the Spanish language, but I learned about the history and culture of a country that I had always dreamed of seeing, in addition to forming connections with new friends, and the members of my host family who showed me nothing but love and kindness during my stay. Coming home was a strange and sometimes scary process. I came home within a week of my college releasing an official statement that all study abroad programs were to be closed and students had until the following Monday to be back in the United States. Airport security, an already long and drawn out process, took even longer to prevent close contact and maintain the practice of social distancing.
This was before anyone wearing a surgical or homemade mask was commonplace, so it really just looked like everyone at the airport, passengers and airport employees standing six feet or further away from each other to stop the spread of Coronavirus. Testing for covid-19 was an intimidating process as well. We often see images of medical staff swabbing the nostrils of patients, to ensure that they are not carriers of the virus. What they don’t show is how uncomfortable the testing process is. The swabs go much further than what is pictured into the nostril and caused me a lot of physical discomfort while I was being tested. However, I was relieved to know that my test results came back negative. After coming home, it was mandated by the U.S. Embassy and Ohio University that all students were to self-quarantine for two weeks in order to prevent the virus.
The first two weeks were difficult. The rest of March through May was not much easier, as I am a people person, and don’t like to spend much time inside. I would much rather connect with others and enjoy my surroundings. Online classes were hard to keep up with as they were not as engaging and teachers were not as accessible as they were in person, but I overcame and managed to maintain and graduate with a 3.0 GPA. Although the pandemic cut my time in Spain short, I am immensely grateful that I got to live there and plan on returning to live there in the near future.
Coronavirus opened my eyes to the importance of recognizing how fortunate I am to be in good health, and that myself and others need to take precautions to ensure the health and wellbeing of those around us. If I had to advise anything during this time, it would be to wear a mask in public places, such as stores, parks, and offices, and wash your hands to avoid contaminating yourself or spreading the disease. We have a responsibility to keep each other safe, because coronavirus affects us all, especially those who are immuno-compromised.