University shutdown: My story

Davis Cobb is a junior writing and linguistics major from Thomasville, Georgia.

Davis Cobb

When I left Statesboro for Spring Break two weeks ago, I left believing all this coronavirus panic would blow over quickly, and that we’d all return to our normal lives with the end of the break. Now, however, I’m faced with the uncertainty that I may not return until the start of next semester.

With Georgia Southern University moving to online classes after the break is over, I can practically do my coursework anywhere, and with the circumstances surrounding Statesboro, I’m convinced more every day that it’s better for me to stay away until everything returns to some sense of normalcy.

The day before I left, I heard news of the local supermarkets being emptied as people panicked over not having adequate supplies for staying safe from this outbreak. Just the other day, I got word of several restaurants in town temporarily closing their doors, some reports I heard referring to Statesboro as a “ghost town.” If I were to come back to Statesboro and resume working there, I’m not sure what my food situation would be like, though I doubt it would be good.

The situation in my hometown isn’t much better. The grocery stores are at least better stocked, but supplies are being limited on certain products to provide enough for everyone, and some shelves are almost completely barren.

With many stores suffering from the shutdown, I worry I may be unable to find a job for the summer. Unfortunately, many people are suffering even more than I am, having lost their jobs and main source of income for an unknowable amount of time.

Going out worries me constantly about becoming infected. I know the odds are incredibly low, but I still take as many precautions as I can, and make sure to wash my hands thoroughly after returning home. Even at home, I am overly cautious about spreading germs; I avoid touching things with my hands when I can and wash my hands at every opportunity.

And even with all these external factors, I worry I may find it difficult to even do my coursework. With three people in our house, an old router, and a father with a very tech-heavy job, I have concerns that the internet connection may not be strong enough to provide for all of us.

I know the internet connection is stronger at my apartment, especially with me being the only one to use it, but I understand that there are some added complications to doing so. In addition to the already mentioned food shortage, being at my apartment uses power and water, requiring our family to pay money we probably don’t need to be spending on that power and water.

Neither option presented feels perfect; both have issues that I don’t know the extent of. I also am unsure of what effects this outbreak will have. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t worried about what comes next. But I know that things will get better. It may take a while, and we might have to work for it, but they will improve. We’ll get back to the way things were, one way or another. We just have to keep moving ahead.

Davis Cobb, The George-Anne News Reporter, [email protected]