The new normal – Day 50

May 5, 2020

Krys Shahin, Editor-in-Chief / @Krysshah

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.

Fifty days into the shelter-in-place order declared by Contra Costa County, students within the Contra Costa Community College District are still struggling to make decisions regarding their future during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Student Allie Winding is planning on graduating from Los Medanos College May 22, with the intention of transferring to University of California Los Angeles. 

As a result of the shelter in place, Winding’s graduation ceremony will take place through Zoom. Despite this, she hopes in-person contact will resume before she transfers.

“I’m really hoping they will open campus for that whole college experience. I don’t want to start at a university online,” said Winding. “[Transferring is] one of my biggest stressors.” 

However, trying to plan for the future during a pandemic has proven to be more difficult than she originally thought. 

To get a feel for the UCLA campus, Winding admits to driving to Los Angeles with her mother to get an idea of where she will be attending school in the Fall. 

While she took all precautions during her trip to “make a decision for my future,” Winding can no longer see her boyfriend because his brother is at a high risk for catching the virus.  

No longer able to visit her boyfriend and still following shelter in place, Winding has been struggling to maintain her motivation to complete her current course load.

“I learn better by listening to lectures,” she said. “ I find it really difficult to take notes from Zoom … I’ve kind of given up.”

When Winding is not attending 8 a.m. Zoom calls to complete her AA, she is working, playing video games or going on walks. 

“The most free time I have is at night time and it’s not nice or very fun,” she said. “I’ve extended my walks from my neighborhoods to the ones around me, but it’s boring now.”

Even things as simple as getting fresh air on her walks, to sitting at a computer for hours for school, “feels like a chore” to Winding during this shelter.

As students struggle to maintain their footing during this state mandated shelter, the county and California continue working to find a solution to the crisis that is the COVID-19 pandemic.