COVID-19 forced Salt Lake Community College students to adjust their lifestyles and consider alternatives for taking classes.
Social distancing and minimizing time spent around others has become commonplace for students, as has the use of virtual technologies such as Zoom, a video conferencing platform.
“All of my professors have met with us every day via Zoom. Additionally, they have given support one on one with students who need extra help,” said Emma Hall, a psychology major at SLCC. “The online/hybrid classes push me to be a more independent learner and to really try to understand the material because the classroom support can be difficult to navigate around.”
Communications major Riley Smith feels “grateful” to attend online classes. Smith, like Molly McKeon, a Journalism and Digital Media major, doesn’t use Zoom often outside of class.
Students have also had to change how they socialize this year. Hall, Smith and McKeon do not interact with their friends and peers the same way they did before the COVID-19 pandemic. Smith has used virtual technology, such as FaceTime, more frequently to lessen the amount of time spent around others.
SLCC student Emily Spacek was diagnosed with the coronavirus after attending a birthday party with a small group of friends. She appreciates the support she received during the period she spent recovering from the disease.
Spacek lives with her boyfriend, Andy, who has also recovered from COVID-19. Andy aided her while she was ill with the virus, and Andy’s mother provided groceries for them while they quarantined. One of Spacek’s friends also provided a meal for her one day.
Spacek said she was “very scared and isolated,” but felt lucky to have her boyfriend take care of her. She dealt with guilt from spreading the virus to him. She said that she experienced a feeling of “realness” and that getting the coronavirus “can still happen despite following protocol.” Her symptoms consisted of fatigue, a fever and flu-like symptoms.
Spacek urges other students to follow the guidelines provided by SLCC and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention pertaining to face masks and social distancing.
“Think of other people before you take a risk that could result in getting COVID-19,” Spacek said.