The Student News Site of University of Nebraska at Kearney

The Antelope

The Antelope

The Antelope

Living through the Coronavirus Pandemic

olivia rash


Coronavirus took a lot away from me in regards to how I ended my journey at UNK. While I’m heartbroken for the families and friends of those who have already passed from this horrible pandemic, I have to remind myself that I am allowed to have more than one feeling about one situation. 

After this summer semester, I will be graduating, so this spring was my last semester on campus, which could be considered my senior semester. For me, going to college on campus was more than just going to class. My department was where I saw friends, peers, and professors. I sat in my mentors’ offices and discussed my future- my dreams and my fears for it. They were there for me through many tough changes in my life. 

When I first came to the UNK Department of Communication, I had just returned to school after a semester off. I had changed my major from education to advertising and public relations. 

During my spring semester of 2019, I started having medical issues of my own. Treatment and recovery has been a long journey- a journey that each of my professors have been a huge part of. Not being able to end my last few classes with them is hard. They’ve been such a huge part of my growth throughout the past two years.

I work in the food service industry. Work changed the moment we had a case reported in Nebraska. We were one of the first in Kearney to close our dining area and serve drive-thru only. The biggest change I have noticed between March 20 and today is the amount of people paying for each other’s food. Complete strangers are helping each other out. It’s very uplifting.

 But the number of patrons who take their anger, fear and frustrations out on the servers at work is painful. Every day we have people scream and yell at us for things out of our control. There has always been this societal norm of looking down on those working in fast food, as well as other industries that are now considered essential, like grocery stores and janitorial services. Now we are thanked endlessly for our hard work and being open, but we still fear every person who comes to our window.

I’m one of the few lucky ones to still have a job to go to, so I should feel blessed.

Whether or not I will receive my government stimulus check is up in the air based on my age and educational status. As a college student, the government already sees me as a dependent, though they don’t pay for my tuition. But since I am 23, I am within the age range to be a dependent. 

I have read articles stating that I won’t be receiving the check based on these things, but I have also read articles stating that since my parents don’t claim me as a dependent, I might receive one. The check would be helpful during this crazy time.

I am a child of mixed race. I am white and Korean. I see the comments made by our president about this being the “Chinese disease” and the result of his comments in the public. People are blaming anyone who looks Asian for this disease, as if any Asian-American carries this disease in their genes. 

I’ve seen a rise in racism against the Asian community and the stories I read and watch online from those who have witnessed it first hand. It breaks my heart. This disease is no one’s fault. This disease is no group of people’s fault. What matters is treating each other with love and respect while we find a vaccine to help us. 

As we get closer to the end of the semester, my apartment lease will also end. I have a lot of anxiety about finding a place to live outside of Kearney. My plan was to move to Lincoln, Omaha or even out of state. I wonder if offices will be available for me to apply to live somewhere, and I wonder how I’ll be able to choose a place even if virtual tours are an option.

I’m stressed over the idea of having no job during the pandemic. After May, I have no jobs lined up. I have heard from friends who have sent out their resumes that their potential employers aren’t even thinking about doing interviews until June. 

What will people like me do who are moving to a new city and have very little savings? How will I be able to pay for the deposit on a place and rent all while taking care of myself until I find a job? Will there be jobs in June or will the pandemic still cause places to shut down? I have thought about moving back home with my parents, in the hopes of working somewhere local and saving up until this passes. 

Every day is new, every day we get more news and every day things are changing. We don’t know what to expect during this pandemic. The future doesn’t exist to me. Right now, the future isn’t something I think of, besides how many more people will die. I fear that Nebraska will end up like New York or Italy. 

I can’t fathom the future, let alone what will happen afterward. What will the world look like? How many friends and family members will I lose before this end? I’m not prepared to mourn them.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Antelope

Your donation will support the student journalists of University of Nebraska at Kearney . Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Antelope

Comments (0)

All The Antelope Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *