The new normal – Day 65

May 20, 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. 

Los Medanos College alumna Ashley Conley is now a nursing major at San Francisco State University and has been dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic along with the rest of California.

Now that she is not working at Red Lobster, her time is taken up by exercising, relaxing and wrapping up her college semester. 

Along with occasionally swimming in her family pool, Conley has been “walking 30 minutes a day and hiking every other day,” she said. 

Because she is a nursing student, Conley finds herself concerned about being unable to do her clinicals, which is hands-on learning for nurses in training. 

“I was stressed but Gov. Gavin Newsom just passed a law that’s allowing us to do most of our clinical hours online, so it helps a lot,” she said. “The future of my schooling is all in the air right now and there are a lot of unknowns at the time, which is hard to deal with.”

But along with other nursing majors, Conley has found that this pandemic has only strengthened her life-long interest in wanting to help others.

“It’s made me more excited to be out in the field and has enforced my career choice,” she said. “I’m inspired by all of the healthcare workers on the front lines right now… and seeing all the healthcare professionals helping everyone right now is so motivating.”

Living at home with her two younger siblings, who she also used to work with, “was hard at first  [because you are] in close contact with the same people all the time [and] everyone’s bound to have disagreements,” but has since gotten better in the 64 days since the shelter-in-place orders took affect. 

As Conley’s new normal goes on and her semester comes to a close, she doesn’t have plans for the summer besides trying to get a head start on helping people.

“I really hope I can volunteer at a hospital over summer if they start allowing volunteers,” she said.