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The Antelope

The Antelope

Self-isolation provides new perspective

mariana chavez


The pandemic has reached our small community. The impact of COVID-19 in Nebraska really hit when nonessential businesses began shutting down and then the slowing down of traffic. It began to resemble old western towns with tumbleweeds rolling around. 

My job experienced that wave early in March. Soon after came the potential cases on campus. After learning that one of the two students who were experiencing COVID-19 symptoms was in my class, I was asked to self-isolate. 

I had gone home over the weekend to start my spring break. Early in the month, I decided to cancel my plans to travel out of state. All that had changed when I received the email asking me to self-isolate until April 1. 

At first, I looked at it as an opportunity to relax and do things that I had needed the time to do before, like applying face masks, watching my favorite movies, going for walks and catching up on sleep. It turns out that I can only sleep so much, until my back starts hurting. That forced me to get up, and start my day at 5 p.m. Yes, 5 p.m. was the normal time for me to start my day and do it all over again. 

I had already been home before finding out of my possible exposure, and I found that small communities like Central City had already started taking measures like a marked ‘X’ by the register that was placed 6 feet away from the counter. Customers would place their items on the checkout counter, as the cashier would stand 6 feet back on his or her own designated ‘X.’ I would step back, and the cashier would approach the counter to check out my items. 

The few fast-food restaurants that the town has closed down their diners and operate through their drive-thru only. 

Back home, my mom would rinse off our produce with bleach and water. Better safe than sorry. 

I was trying to enjoy the time off as much as I could, but I got more and more anxious as April 1 arrived. Rent day. I feared that my upcoming paycheck would not be enough to cover my rent and bills. Thankfully, I was able to pay my rent, and I am back at work. I’m very thankful to be working. 

I know that there is light at the end of the tunnel, but I just don’t know when we will reach it. I’ve discussed the possibility of moving back home with my parents when my lease is over in June. I’m going to finish school online. 

I ask all my peers and anyone reading this to please take this seriously, as this disease has had a huge impact on our country. I have seen it myself. One exposure could lead to multiple people’s self-isolation. It could deprive them of working, and they may have bills and rent that needs to be paid. It can take its toll financially among others in communities worldwide. 

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