Adieu, Duhawks – Until next time
By Brigid Flaherty
It was not so much a question of “if” as “when” Loras would take preventative measures in an effort to lessen the spread of COVID-19. Last week, many colleges moved to online classes while others told students to pack their belongings and go home, Loras classes continued as scheduled and in-person. As President Trump called for an EU travel ban on Mar. 11, and students abroad were recalled to the United States, continuing classes at Loras became a bit of a joke. Memes were shared and students still went out over the weekend. However, the imminent email from President Collins arrived late Sunday afternoon.
Shortly after President Collins’ email arrived, the governor of Iowa, Kim Reynolds, announced new COVID-19 cases and recommended closing schools. By Sunday evening, various school districts in the Dubuque area had announced that they would close for some time. The next day, it was announced that Catholic Masses in the Archdiocese of Dubuque would be suspended. The measures were put into place to prevent the spread of COVID-19, in hopes of protecting health and stopping a flood of cases in American hospitals and clinics.
“I have conflicted emotions. Like it’s good that we are taking precautions to keep people safe, but it still sucks,” said junior Alyssa Corkery.
Questions began pouring into the Duhawk RA’s and CA’s on Sunday, who were also taken aback. Worried students who were in a field placement, those who lived in distant states, student-teachers, and students studying abroad through Loras were shocked and wondered what would happen to them. Some students at Loras began packing their belongings immediately, while others thought about what they would be missing in the coming weeks.
“This is not how I envisioned my senior year,” said Sydney Reilly. “I’m afraid of losing the opportunity of walking across the stage for graduation. But at the same time, I think it’s important to be preventative because if we aren’t, we open ourselves up to the possibility of devastating circumstances.”
“Having to move out has been a little frightening, but mostly just sad,” junior Dalton Oberfoell reflected on the changes he and his roommates were facing. “It’s setting in little by little that we won’t be able to live together for the rest of the semester and that we are losing a lot of time together.”
These past few days have been filled with confusion, relief, sadness, and even some anger; fond farewells, however, are shared by all. Duhawks hope that familiar and favorite places can be their home once again shortly after Easter.