COVID 19 Student Perspective

Luis Alvear, Contributing Writer

Featured image from Luis Alvear of his near-empty flight home

Coronavirus is something crazy that none of us expected. I think that we need to take care now that we know the bad consequences that it has. It is also having a lot of economic impact for the world and I think that governments are not reacting well.

I left campus on the 21st of March. The situation in Spain was so bad and it was so difficult to book a flight. I remember waking up the day before to see messages from my mom saying, “Pack everything, you have a flight tomorrow at 11 a.m.” I was so surprised and I asked her to wait so she could let me organize myself and talk to my coach but she told me that the prices of the flight were rising up to $7,000 and that she got that flight for free because she only had to change the one that I had scheduled to go back home in May.

The trip was so crazy, that it was like a scary movie. I came with a mask and gloves, and I didn’t touch anything over the trip. I travelled from St. Louis to Chicago, from Chicago to Madrid, and from Madrid to Santander, my city. Everything was normal at the airports in the USA. The plane from Chicago to Madrid was full of college students like me who where going back home because the borders were closing that day. There had to be a free seat between the people in the plane to prevent the spread of the virus.

When I arrived in Madrid, the airport was completely empty. The plane from Chicago was the only international flight arriving that day and it was the first time that I saw an airport like that. The lights were off in the whole building and the army was there directing the people to the baggage pick up and asking them to go home. When I took the plane from Madrid to Santander, the plane was completely empty and it was the only flight going to my city that day. There were only nine people on the whole plane. When I arrived at the airport, the police asked me where was I going and what I had inside the luggage.

I came home 16* days ago and I didn’t go out, not even once, since I came back home. Today, Spain has more cases than Italy and China and we can’t stop the virus. The government doesn’t know how to act and there are a lot of deaths. There are a lot of military police in the street and no one can go out, except for the supermarket once a week. If you go out you have to pay a fine between 1,000 and 30,000 euros. It’s very scary and we don’t have any more beds in the hospitals. They let old people die and the government doesn’t even spend money on the hospital material.

No one is working except for the police, the doctors, nurses, and the supermarket cashiers, so everyone is losing a lot of money and we are in a very deep economic crisis. Every day at 8 p.m. I go out to the balcony with the rest of the citizens to clap for the people that are risking their lives to save the lives of others. Right now I’m doing online classes, which in my opinion, is worse. It is easier to fall behind the homework and it is harder to understand the material. It is affecting me in every way because I can’t make any kind of plans and I don’t even know if I’m going to be able to go out during the summer.

I’m getting crazy at home. The only things that I can do are study, play some PS4, and work out for an hour. I haven’t even seen my family since I came here. I only see my mom because I live with her. I have two friends that lost their grandfather due to the virus and they are having a very bad moment. I also have another friend whose grandfather is in the hospital and they don’t let him see him. The funerals are not allowed either.

In my opinion, I have to say that I never thought that something like this could happen. I also think that the governments are lying a lot. I just hope that it finishes fast and everything can be normal again. I also want to see my family and be all together during the summer and eat all as a family like we did in the past. At the same time, I’m lucky that no members of my family have the virus and we are all healthy, which at the end, it is what matters.

*This post is not completely up to date, but the Review staff is working to chronicle the coronavirus as best we can in the midst of our writers having a chaotic schedule.

2 thoughts on “COVID 19 Student Perspective

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  1. Luis, thank you for sharing your story. It’s a difficult time across the globe. I appreciate your efforts to stay connected with your McKendree family via this article. Stay safe and just do the best that you can during this very challenging time.

  2. Chilling! But as a historian, I know it is so valuable to chronicle these times. As a human, I know it is scary, too. Thank you, Luis, for sharing this perspective with us. Stay safe and be well!

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