Dealing With the Unexpected

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BY GRANT EVANS grant.evans@go.mnstate.edu

There was a time when the perception of the coronavirus was like a boy band—it’ll stick around for a while, but we’ll have forgotten it in six weeks. 

With an extended spring break due to the outbreak, people were stumbling from bar to bar, families were gorging themselves at buffets and frat boys were high fiving each other after keg stands. 

At first, the coronavirus was taken about as seriously as Candy Crush, but it was underestimated like the success of “Fifty Shades of Grey.” 

Now, we have quarantined ourselves, sweatpants have become fashionable and a trip to the grocery store has an air of incertitude. The virus’s initial stages were indeterminate.  

As Bob Dylan once said, “The times are a-changing.”

Students were not the only group with an extended spring break, as professors also had a few weeks to reflect and prepare. 

English faculty member Dr. Elizabeth Rowse spent her time adapting her Shakespeare class to an online format. When she wasn’t doing this, she binged a ton of Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, Tubi, Vudu and Prime. But worst of all was the elimination of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.

“I was bereft that the NCAA basketball tournament was cancelled,” she said. “I actually watched reruns of great tournament games.” She also yelled at her dogs a lot.

COVID-19 affected the campus in a lot of ways—a loss of equilibrium in collegiate sports, intramural activities and, even, student journalism.

Professor Aaron Quanbeck, from the School of Communication & Journalism, saw the effects of the coronavirus in its early stages, with students unable to produce the Campus News newscast for Prairie Public Television.

“My thoughts in those early stages of the pandemic were obviously feelings of disappointment,” he said. “For the producers, anchors, reporters and photographers that could no longer continue with the great work that they were doing.”

Quanbeck, nonetheless, was proud of students and what they were able to accomplish given the circumstances.

Students, faculty and administration are doing their best despite living in this pandemic. We now live in communities in which we must rely on our families and friends during these ineluctable times, but there is still hope.

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