The new normal – Day 16


Photo courtesy of Gilary Carrasco

Photo taken before shelter-in-place order.

Weston Hopkins, Staff Writer

Editor’s note: “The new normal” is a continuing series that looks into how members of the Los Medanos College community are coping with a shelter-in-place order amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

It’s been two weeks since the shelter-in-place order was enacted by Contra Costa County, and students and staff are beginning to settle into their new normal.

“I haven’t left my house in 15 days. The first week of the shelter in place I liked, it felt like spring break. But now the days are becoming meshed,” said Los Medanos College student Gilary Carrasco in a Zoom meeting.

Carrasco thrives with face-to-face conversation and social interaction with others, so the shelter-in-place has been hard for her not only socially but also academically as well.

“There’s no interaction at all. Besides the discussion boards, there is no one-on-one interaction,” said Carrasco. 

Carrasco’s professors are not utilizing Canvas and other online resources to positively impact students during these uncertain times, and Carrasco is dealing with a lack of motivation to do her work during this online situation as a result.

“I have zero motivation to get anything done,” said Carrasco. “I haven’t logged into Canvas since the shelter-in-place order went out.”

Carrasco is finishing her last semester at LMC, and can’t wait to transfer. She has been accepted to multiple schools and is still awaiting a response from her top choice, The University of California, Los Angeles. 

“It’s nerve wracking because I have to tell the school by June 1 if I’m going to go or not and obviously I’m not sure if it will be face-to face or online at this moment. If it somehow ends up being face-to-face, I’ll only have a month to find a place to move to,” said Carrasco regarding the prospect of transferring to a four-year university.

On top of being a dedicated student, Carrasco is also an active club member. She is currently Vice President of the La Raza Unida club and a member of the Latinx Leadership Network. 

“We Zoom once a week,” said Carrasco. “Right now, when we get together it’s about having a conversation about how we’re doing and our fears given the situation. We try to keep our sisterhood close.”

Outside of school, Carrasco had been enjoying her job at Hannah-Nicole Vineyards in Brentwood.

“I was the person in the tasting room that poured wine for the customers,” said Carrasco. “Unfortunately, I’ve been laid off. Though I’m being paid up until the middle of April, which helps with stress a bit. I will still be filing for unemployment like everyone else.”

Carrasco is most upset about one thing in particular regarding the online transition at LMC, her inability to walk at graduation.

“I’ve been looking forward to the graduation ceremony for so long. I didn’t get to walk for graduation in high school, so I was really looking forward to it. Most of all, I wanted my parents to get to see me graduate,” said Carrasco.