Keeping my distance, for my father’s sake

By Cole Anderson/El Inde

The year 2020 has already become one for the history books.

After the recent death of the beloved Kobe Bryant, I didn’t think anything could get worse. Unfortunately, that was just the start to a year that will be remembered forever. 

The virus has not only been killing hundreds of thousands of people, causing heavy blows to friends and family members, but it has also been taking a toll in people’s lives who aren’t infected nor in contact with anyone who has the virus.  

Not only am I a senior who was set to graduate this year and be the last in my family of five to go through a college graduation commencement, but I also lost a new job in the service industry. But more importantly, the pandemic means that I have to be extremely clean and distance myself from others because I have a family member who is highly susceptible to becoming very ill from the virus. 

When I was younger, my dream school was the University of Arizona. Both my parents and my older brother came here and told me stories about it. I was immediately hooked. The experience I heard about, the funny tales about my brother and his friends, and then seeing it all with my own very eyes: I knew I wanted to graduate as a Wildcat. Now, it’s my fourth year and I can see the finish line an arm’s length away. I can see it and reach it, but feel like I can’t fully pull myself across the black-and-white checkered line.

I feel as though something is missing; as if the work that I put in for four years isn’t going to see the true celebration I believe it deserves. The friendships I gained, although still there, feel as though they are diminishing as people leave Tucson for the last time. Everything is gone and out of place.

I will never graduate with my best friends that I made here. I won’t have our annual fraternity’s send-off event for seniors. I know that I am graduating and have the rest of my life to figure out, but not seeing my college experience all the way through feels strange in a way that makes me shift around at night, not finding a comfortable way to finally sleep.

When news of the coronavirus spread was given by Dr. Anthony Fauci, my parents, brothers and I all took serious precautions, and are continuing to do so. This means we’re all out quarantined: Social distancing, washing hands more than I ever thought possible and going out as little as we can. It has taken a toll being home so much, but it’s what must be done to help flatten the curve and keep my father safe. He’s a recent cancer survivor.

In the meantime, I have seen a mountain of Amazon packages out on my front porch. The amount of screen time that my family and I have been partaking in has been quite substantial. We’re often on the computer doing homework, online shopping, playing video games, watching Netflix.

If you told me two months ago that I had to do those things for hours a day at home, I would take up that offer. But that would have been in a world where I could also go out and socialize when I want to as well. Now, when you tell me I have to do that for hours a day, it sounds dull.

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