Song of the day: 12.38 by Childish Gambino
Around March 11th, I watched a news segment on Instagram about the Corona virus. This was around the time I was preparing to mail my graduation announcements to friends and family so they could make arrangements to see me walk the stage. Four years of long nights, short days, and endless assignments that amount to a short stroll, handshakes, and a picture before I took my seat again. My graduation was slated for May 1st at 2 P.M. in the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center. On March 19th, I received an email stating that all graduation ceremonies were canceled to ensure the safety of students, their family, and friends. Days before receiving this email, I couldn’t understand why I’d been hesitant to mail my announcements-- I guess it was only a matter of time to find out why.
Unlike many students, I didn’t go anywhere before and after spring break. The furthest I went was Jackson View Landing, which is about 15 minutes away from the center of Tallahassee. I looked out at Lake Jackson, brown-green marshes tinted with insects and young fishermen. Not my typical break but with my dear Nelle, it was more than worthwhile. All of my classes have transferred to zoom but only two actually use the software. I’m figuring how to navigate the switch considering that all of my classes were on campus while applying for jobs, writing poems for NaPoMo ( t-minus two days), and finishing the rest of my semester without losing peace of mind.
Corona. Spanish for crown. Noun.
I’ve never seen so many people panic and disregard a disease before:
“I’ll be fine.”
“I’m staying away from everyone.”
“Young people don’t get it anyway.”
Meanwhile, all over the world, Corona disregards age, background, and location. It takes lives. It ends birthdays. It cancels baby showers. It economically disables people that specialize in fields that require them to be around people-- theatres, museums, tourism. A few of many entities that have been halted or shut down because they don’t have emergency funding or aren’t “essential” to the livelihood of individuals.
California. Texas. New York.
All major states that have enacted a mandated curfew/lock-down of some sort. Though they are not the only states, these are the few states I may be living in after my virtual graduation ends. As a budding professional artist, this pandemic has shown me a few things.
As of today, I have 26 days left as an undergraduate student. Though the Coronavirus has taken so much from the world, my peers, and some many others, it has not taken my joy. It has not taken my drive to succeed. It has not taken the pride I have in my great city, Jacksonville, FL.
To all of the people working endless shifts in hospitals, I pray that you are protected from the disease as the frontline soldiers protecting the future of the world.
To all of the people that are blessed to work with pay and even not work yet still be paid, do understand that you are blessed and many, many people want to be just like you.
To all of the people that do not know where your next meal, rent, or utility money is coming from, I pray that your community uplift and equip you with the tools you need to at least be happy at home.
This too shall pass. For though there are things that are beyond our understanding, disarray doesn’t make the dilemma go away. Be still, remain in good graces, and never, ever let the destruction of today determine the peace that will come tomorrow. Corona’s days are numbered and I’m ready for brunch once this pandemic has come to a close. It’s only a matter of time. Protect yourself by staying home and away from as many people as possible.
All the best is yet to come,