The new normal – Day 28

April 13, 2020

Erick Amaya, Sports Editor

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. 

With the transition to remote instruction due to the COVID-19 virus, Maria Torres is yet another student affected by the global pandemic. 

The child development major admits that the transition of staying home has not been very tough for her,  and that she “doesn’t mind staying indoors.” adding that she has “been keeping myself busy.”

Even though Torres has taken an optimistic mindset to deal with this situation, she admits that she faced a few struggles during the first week of remote instruction.

“The hardest part of transitioning to online learning is that I will literally have the Zoom meeting open and zone off,” she said. 

The class that she was most worried about was Biology-10 because of the lectures and lab experiments which can may not be executed as well online. 

“For the first Zoom meeting, I couldn’t join the meeting [from the start],” said Torres.

One way that her instructor makes sure students are learning the material is by lecturing using PowerPoint and quizzing students using Zoom’s chat feature. 

As a child development major, Torres works in the Child Study Center. But due to the campus closure, the last worked she worked was March 16 and she has had to file for unemployment since it was the only job she had. 

“I miss the routine and the school family at the CSC, [and interact] with the parents and teachers. Hearing ‘Teacher Maria’ and turning around and receiving a hug from the children,” she said. 

Torres has to balance her education and helping her family with home duties. She helps her parents pay the bills online, helps her younger siblings with their education, and cleans while her mother takes her grandfather to doctor appointments.

Once she completes her responsibilities, Torres keeps busy with her hobbies. 

“I’ve been keeping myself busy by painting, cleaning, [watching] Netflix, playing sports with my little sister, and taking care of our pets,” she said. 

For Torres, the toughest part of the COVID-19 pandemic has been grocery shopping. Having to go to multiple stores to buy her groceries is one thing that has occurred to her while always remembering to keep her distance from others and wear the proper make-shift protective gear.

 “I have been relying on resources like the food bank and the food pantry provided at LMC,” said Torres. 

Upon hearing the news that LMC would remain online for the rest of the semester, she remains positive. 

“At least I am able to finish off what I started this semester and didn’t receive an incomplete,” she said. “But it also makes me wonder if the quarantine will end on May 3 or be extended and if the fall semester will be online, too.”