COVID-19 Hits Colleges

Zach Weissman, Staff Writer

The coronavirus is spreading faster than any other disease historically. There have been some outbreaks, like the Ebola virus in 2014, which we thought might potentially escalate to a scenario like this one, but it did not.

Schools have closed and this pandemic is having drastic ramifications on the American economy. 

Alex Weissman, my brother and a sophomore at the University of Chicago, was just about to finish his second year of college when it was shut down.

“It’s truly a unique situation.  I never thought anything like this would happen,” Weissman said.

Rather than spending his spring break in Telluride visiting family, he had to pack up his entire dorm room and move back to Denver. Since the University of Chicago runs on quarters instead of semesters, his entire third quarter will be remote learning. He expects to have classes on Zoom.

“It’s going to be really different I’m sure,” said Weissman. “I usually have study groups and meet with my professors regularly to discuss the materials. It will be a learning curve to get used to this new way of doing things.”

He said he will miss spending time with his friends.

“My roommates and I hang out a lot, so I will definitely miss them,” Weismann said, adding that one thing he will not miss is the dorm food.

The fact of the matter is that this virus is highly contagious and incredibly unpredictable. We truly do not know the future implications this illness has on our lives.

Mira Mercier, my cousin, was taking a year abroad in Spain.  She had to return home as well.

“I mean, it really sucks,” Mercier said. “To top it off I have to stay in the house 24/7, it’s really depressing.”

She says she was looking forward to traveling around Europe with friends for spring break and finishing out the year in Barcelona. Instead, she is back in Basalt with her parents and younger brother.

“My parents are great, but the day-in-day-out is already getting old,” said Mercier. “I can’t imagine doing this for another two or three months.”

Mercier is a junior at George Washington University in Washington, DC. Her school will also finish out the year with “virtual learning.”

Since she was doing study abroad, it is still unclear how she will get credit for all of her courses.

“The [George Washington] class I was taking in Spain is fine. I will just have to write a paper and be done with it. But I was also taking classes at the University of Barcelona. As of now, I’m not sure I will get full credit for those courses since I won’t be able to complete them,” Mercier said. “It’s not a big deal for me because I have a bunch of extra credits from AP classes in high school, but for some students this could be a real problem.”