Ally Morrison, Correspondent
This week marks the one year anniversary of COVID-19 being declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization. Undoubtedly, 2020 is a period of history no one will ever forget.
The concern of a pandemic in which no health officials yet understood, short supplies of toilet paper and purchasing limitations of Lysol wipes and hand sanitizer were more common than ever before.
The year began to look a little different for Jacksonville State University’s faculty and students. In-person classes were shifted to Zoom meetings, group projects were completed via FaceTime and Microsoft Teams and COVID-19 became prevalent in everyday life.
Abril Chavarin, a senior nursing student at Jacksonville State University details the first time she heard about the virus.
“I remember being at clinicals when I first heard about COVID,” said Chavarin. “A lot of us joked about the severity and thought COVID would come and go. Looking back, it’s crazy how wrong we were. There were rumors around the cohort about the possibility of a shutdown, but I didn’t want to believe it.”
Chavarin details how different her life has looked over the past year due to the pandemic. When reports of COVID started to gain traction, she said she was alerted by an instructor that classes would be shifting to online learning for the remainder of the semester.
“It was extremely difficult for me to adjust to virtual courses,” she said. “Although I had online courses in the past, nothing really prepared me for online nursing school. During quarantine, I spent time learning how to navigate online classes with, at the time, an 8 month old. It was definitely a difficult transition for me.”
The university switched to fully remote courses on March 12 of last year, just one day before the state of Alabama reported its first case of COVID-19.
Among the difficult transitions to online learning, quarantine and getting used to masking and social distancing, creativity during the pandemic has flourished. Challenges circling social media outlets, apps such as TikTok gaining popularity and new ways to connect with friends and family have brought unity into isolation.