Interview with Gloria Eddy, 11/30/2021

UW Oshkosh Campus Stories
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´╗┐SR: This is Summer Ruff. I am interviewing Gloria Eddy on November 30th, 2021 for campus COVID stories. Campus COVID stories is a collection of oral stories from students and staff at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh about their experiences in the time of COVID. Thank you for sharing your stories with us. First, could you please pronounce your name and spell it out for us?

GE: Yeah, I'm Gloria Eddy. G-L-O-R-I-A, E-D-D-Y.

SR: And then for the purposes of obtaining a good audio recording, please tell us again, your name, your major and age.

GE: I'm Gloria, Eddy. I'm a sophomore. I'm an anthropology major. And what was the final thing?

SR: Your age?

GE: I'm 19 years old.

SR: So just to get us started, let's get to know you a little bit. Can you tell me about where you grew up?

GE: Yeah. I grew up in a town called Stoughton, Wisconsin. It's about 20 minutes outside of Madison. It's a very cute little town. We have about, I wanna say 00:01:00like 13,000 people. We're a very Norwegian, we celebrate like a lot of Norwegian holidays, which is super fun. And yeah, it's a really cool community. Awesome.

SR: What can you tell me about what it was like to grow up there?

GE: It was really cool. Like I said, we're a pretty close-knit community. There's a lot of big like events and stuff that, that are done. We have a lot of like parades and fundraisers and festivals and yeah, it was fun.

SR: Okay. And then tell me about your parents. What do they do?

GE: So my parents are April and Chris. My mom, April, she's a nurse practitioner at Meriter in Madison, and my dad works in IT.

SR: So then when did you start thinking about going to college? Like, was it always kind of your plan?

GE: It was definitely, I would say it was always part of my plan. It wasn't something that was like, there wasn't like a lot of parental pressure to do it necessarily. I just kind of knew that that was always something that I wanted to do.

00:02:00

SR: So then, why did you choose to go to UW-Oshkosh?

GE: Well, I, when I started thinking about where I wanted to go to school, I knew that I didn't really have a very clear picture of what I wanted to major in or what type of career I wanted to pursue, so I couldn't really look at anything like that. But I had very supportive parents and they made sure that I got to tour a lot of different colleges, and I just thought that Oshkosh had a very welcoming campus community. And honestly, I really liked the school colors and I really liked the dorms. So, here I am.

SR: Awesome. Okay, so we're gonna start off by looking at the early days of COVID at UW-Oshkosh. So looking back in the beginning of spring of 2020, were you still in high school?

GE: I was, that was in my senior year of high school.

SR: Okay. Do you remember when you first kind of heard about COVID-19?

GE: I have a very distinct memory of sitting in class one day and I was in a AP, 00:03:00like AP government class. I forget the exact name of the class, but we were talking about like recent news and stuff and we were talking about COVID and we were all just kind of joking about, 'oh, like, I bet we're gonna get sent home.' And like, 'I bet we're gonna get a week off of class and then we'll get like an extended spring break.' And then I remember like the last class that I had that day, then we were kind of joking about it too. And then we got an email over the weekend telling us not to come back to class for a while. So yeah, that was fun.

SR: Yeah. So then what was your initial reaction kind of to hearing about COVID and the potential shutdowns?

GE: Um, honestly, I didn't really know what to think about, about it all at first. I mean, we'd never really had something like this happen in our like recent history, I guess. Like there's never really been a time where we've been told not to come to school for that long of an extended period of time. So I 00:04:00really didn't know what to expect or what was gonna happen. Definitely a lot of uncertainty in the air.

SR: So then do you remember any specific feelings that you felt when, mid-March, everything kind of started shutting down all of a sudden?

GE: I remember feeling very out of control of the whole situation. I remember just being very stressed about my AP classes and thinking about how I was gonna be beginning college, like the following fall, and I was very stressed about what that was gonna look like. And, I remember specifically like just feeling very stressed and anxious about a lot of things. And so one day I took like the entire day and I set up like a home office and my house for me to like, do all my schoolwork in and my mom made a cute little Facebook post about it. And she was like, 'This is Gloria taking control of things when things feel out of control.' So that was nice of her.

SR: Yeah. So then when things kind of were starting to shut down and the news of 00:05:00COVID was circulating, like, what were you thinking, like regards to your, the rest of your high school career? Like, were you worried about finishing and graduating?

GE: I was definitely worried about what the rest of it was gonna look like. I think everybody, when they're going through high school, they have a very clear picture about like their final days of high school and like being able to say goodbye to everyone and like finding out what everyone's gonna go do. And it's like, I don't think we really got any of that closure. And so I just think it was very like disheartening to hear that we weren't gonna be coming back at all for the end of the year, for the rest of the year.

SR: Yeah. Did you feel like you missed out on some things as a senior because of the shutdown?

GE: Yeah, definitely. I mean, I didn't really get a graduation at all and I didn't get to go to prom my senior year and I didn't get to--There was just a lot of like, like the final choir concert. I was involved in choir all throughout high school, and so I didn't get to have that final concert, which was really, that was honestly, probably one of the most depressing things about 00:06:00it all. That was just a community that I was always really involved in, and that final concert is like such rite of passage for seniors, you know, it's a whole like dedication to them. So the fact that I didn't get that was really--Something I really struggled with.

SR: Yeah. So then, like still thinking like early spring of 2020, like when everything was kind of first starting, how would you describe your feelings about the disease itself?

GE: Definitely very, towards the disease itself I mean, I was very upset and very like angry. It seemed really, it was really hard to believe that something like that could affect us that much. I mean, like I said, in recent history, we've never had any type of like pandemic type thing affect us on that level. I mean, there's been certain outbreaks of things that have been of concern, but nothing I think to that caliber and like the fact that it happened so fast and that we didn't really have a lot of control over it at all, it was--Yeah, 00:07:00definitely anger inducing.

SR: Yeah. So then like, that year of your senior year and everything, did you have a job? Were you working anywhere?

GE: Yeah, I was working at a few different places. I think at that point I was, yeah, I was a waitress and a hostess at a local restaurant. And then--What else was I doing? I was also lifeguarding at that point, I believe. Yeah.

SR: Okay. So then with the shutdown, did you have to stop working too?

GE: Yeah, so the lifeguarding stopped pretty much immediately. I had been planning on quitting, so that didn't really me a whole lot, but, it, the shutdown of the restaurant kind of happened slowly at first. Like I remember right after we were told not to come back to school, I still had like some work shifts that were pretty normal after that. But then, you know, we started adding masks and gloves and more san- like sanitation, and then eventually the whole restaurant just kind of got shut down and we were doing takeout only and 00:08:00delivery. So that was definitely very different.

SR: Yeah. So then once you were kind of forced to stop working for a while, were you concerned about money like having to save up for college and everything?

GE: I think because I was somebody who, I mean, I started working when I was 14 and I've had multiple jobs at a time ever since then. So it was very, it was stressful to me that I wasn't working because I didn't have like a steady income at that point, but I knew that I had enough saved up that I was going to be okay. It was just very stressful not to have like that steady income, even though I did have that savings built up.

SR: Yeah. So then once schools did start shutting down, how did your school personally kind of handle being sent home? Like did you guys move to online schooling?

GE: Yeah, so we moved to online and that looked different for every single class that I had. There were some classes that we would meet virtually a few times a week and have different lectures. There were some classes that they would just 00:09:00email us different assignments. I know, like for my German class, I had to like submit a video of me, like having a conversation in German once a day. And so it was, it was all online, but it was different for every class, which was kind of hard to juggle.

SR: So then what were some of the challenges, personally, with online learning?

GE: One of the main challenges, I would say, was just not having that interaction with different students and not having that direct interaction with the teachers every single day. Especially like for my more complicated classes, like not being able to sit down and have a conversation with your teacher or about different questions that you had as the questions came up was definitely challenging. I don't think teachers realize that it, there's a difference between having questions as you're doing an assignment versus like trying to remember all those questions to send in an email later on. And so there were some difficult material that we had to get through and it was a lot more difficult because it was online.

SR: Yeah. So then, because of all those challenges, do you feel like it was 00:10:00harder to learn? Like, did you feel like you were really learning anything at all?

GE: Honestly, it all felt pretty pointless at that, at that point in time, especially with, like how the AP tests then were structured. I felt like I had done all this work, the previous semesters to basically lead up to nothing. And yeah, just nothing, nothing was at all on the caliber of how I expected it to be. And so it just kind of felt like I was just going through the motions versus actually learning anything anymore.

SR: Do you feel like it ever got easier finishing out your senior year doing online classes?

GE: I would say it was definitely like, there were definitely some classes that were a lot easier just because there was a lot less, like, like German, for example, most of the work in that class is very like class, is a lot of like classwork. And so, because we couldn't do a lot of that, like the assignments got really, really easy and like I said, kind of led to that feeling of it being kind of pointless.

SR: Okay. So then moving away from school a little bit, let's talk more about 00:11:00what it was like at home. So I'm guessing that you stayed with your parents at home?

GE: Yep, I lived with my parents all throughout the quarantine.

SR: Okay. So then what kind of precautions did your family take as a whole, like during the lockdown?

GE: Well, pretty immediately, even before there were any kind of mask mandate or anything, me and my family, we started like wearing masks when we would go out all the time. Especially because my mom worked in healthcare and she really couldn't afford to, if she had any sign of any kind of symptom, then she wouldn't be able to go to work, and that would've been really bad for all of her patients. The work that she does, she works with diabetic women who are pregnant, and so that's pretty like urgent work that needs to be done in person. So she really couldn't afford to not be able to go to work. So we took a lot of precautions really early on. I mean, we were, like I said, we were wearing mask everywhere we went and we were being very careful about like washing our hands and all that jazz. And we just, in general, didn't go out as much. Like my mom 00:12:00stopped going to the grocery store every single week, and we started do like ordering our groceries. We didn't go out to eat as much, we only did takeout. Just different things like that.

SR: Yeah. So then, kind of like during the peak of the lockdown when things started to kind of get more serious, were you ever allowed, personally, to leave the house?

GE: I was allowed to leave the house. My parents, and I mean, it wasn't, it was something that I wanted to enforce as well, but we didn't hang out with like, I didn't hang out with large groups of people ever. I had a pretty like tight knit friend group in high school, so only really hung out with them. Then I also had a boyfriend at the time that I would hang out with, but I didn't see anybody really outside of that.

SR: Okay. What kind of struggles do you feel like your family went through because of COVID?

GE: We struggled a lot with boredom. My mom is such a busy body, and so whenever we were like around the house and stuff for too long, she would start getting us involved in different projects around the house. Basically a lot of our house 00:13:00ended up getting renovated or repainted during that time. All DIY projects. It was a very interesting experience. Especially since my dad, at that point, was also working from home and he's also kind of a busy body. So he started, he brews beer, and he started brewing a lot of beer. So it was definitely fighting the boredom, but yeah.

SR: Yeah. Do you feel like there was any extra stress added to your family during this time?

GE: Oh, definitely. I don't think we were at all used to being around each other that much. And so things definitely got a little bit testy at some points in time. Luckily our family, we own a lake house and so there were several weekends where like me and my sister would just go to the lake house to get away from our parents for a little while and just kind of get some distance and kind of pretend like we were going on vacation, I guess.

SR: Yeah. Did anyone that you knew get COVID during the lockdown?

GE: Not during those first few months, no. I didn't know anybody who got COVID until I started my freshman year at high school, of my freshman year of college. Sorry.

00:14:00

SR: So then you said that you did get to see some of your friends during the lockdown?

GE: Yes, I did. I had a small, I had a small group of friends that I would see, and then I also had a boyfriend that I would go and visit.

SR: Okay, like kind of things would you do since places were mostly closed and everything?

GE: It was a lot of, well at the beginning we really didn't want, we still wanted to be safe, even though we were just hanging out with each other. So we did a lot of like outdoor activities. Like we would go and park our cars in a circle in the school parking lot and talk to each other from our cars. And we did like picnics and things like that. And then, as time went on, we did like other activities. Like we had a lot of like movie nights and such, things like that.

SR: Okay. And then you said at the time of the lockdown, you had a boyfriend?

GE: I did.

SR: What kind of hardships did you guys kind of experience that you feel like 00:15:00were because of the lockdown and COVID?

GE: Well, we had a lot of differing political views and I think with COVID of political issues did kind of come into light and started to enter conversation more. So it really kind of created more of a tension in that sense in our relationship. And also just like, I wanted to be very careful about who I was seeing, so I wasn't seeing like a lot of different people, so I wasn't increasing my chance of getting COVID, but he really didn't wanna take a lot of those same precautions at first, so that definitely also led to some tension in our relationship.

SR: Okay. During the lockdown itself, do you feel like your mental health kind of suffered or anything?

GE: Oh, yeah. I mean, like I said, I often had, like, I often felt like I was kind of losing control of the situation. I had to do a lot of different things to kind of feel like I was remaining in control even though, like, I really 00:16:00couldn't have any control over the situation, especially thinking about like what college was gonna be like. I mean, that was already something that was pretty stressful to me, and COVID obviously just added like a lot of more uncertainty. So definitely a lot of just, I would say a lot of anxiety surrounding the whole issue.

SR: Did you ever feel like you struggled with feelings of like isolation and loneliness?

GE: Yeah. Especially during those first few months, when I like, whenever I did see my friends, like I said, we were still like keeping our safe distance and stuff. And so it definitely, I mean, I mean, there were like a few weeks that I would go without like hugging anybody and it was just something that I wasn't at all used to. I mean, in high school, like you're surrounded by people all the time in your classes, then you go from that to doing schoolwork sitting alone in your living room. So I definitely felt very isolated and very just by myself.

SR: Yeah. So, like what kind of ways did you find to help cope with those feelings of stress and anxiety and loneliness?

GE: A lot of FaceTime calls with different people. Also just keeping myself 00:17:00busy. Like I said, it was, I mean, it was a blessing and a curse that my parents are both busy bodies and that they both wanted us to have projects going on all the time. Cause it kind of helped me get my mind off of things, but yeah.

SR: Okay. So then kind of looking more into the summer of 2020, what kind of changes did you see? Did you feel like things were kind of lightening up a little bit more?

GE: Specifically like in the Madison area, I know we had a lot of ups and downs with COVID getting worse and then getting better. And so there would be times where we would think like, 'Oh, it might be getting better,' and then the numbers would spike again and it would all kind of go downhill. So yeah, it was very, very up and down.

SR: Okay. Did you kind of fluctuate your precautions that you were taking with those changes?

GE: Personally in our family, we stayed pretty strict throughout the entirety of the summer. Like I said, just cause my mom worked in healthcare and she really, 00:18:00like she was really making sure that we were being as safe as we possibly could.

SR: Okay. nd then what kind of determined, what precautions you you would take? Like did you follow closely with the CDC?

GE: Definitely following closely with the CDC and then also, just again, my mom worked in healthcare and so what she was hearing at work about how things were going, kind of also affected our, the, our level of precautions.

SR: Okay. And then by the end of the summer, did you feel like you changed throughout the pandemic? Behavior wise or anything?

GE: I feel like, I mean, during the pandemic, I feel like I spent a lot of time with myself. And I think that kind of led to some, I don't wanna say like personal growth, but just, I discovered things about myself that I never really knew before. Just, I don't know, different things about like, about like what kind of career I wanted and just, I don't know. I don't know what I'm trying to 00:19:00say, but I just think I, I learned more about myself during that time because I was forced to spend so much time with just myself.

SR: Yeah. So then once things kind of did start easing up and everything with the pandemic, did you feel like those feelings of anxiety and stress kind of went away? Did you feel happier?

GE: Yeah, I think that, especially now that we're like into--Now that I'm into my sophomore year of college and like we're starting to see a lot of those restrictions being lifted, it's kind of a breath of fresh air. Like literally being able to walk into buildings without having a mask on is, it's like a literal breath of pressure. And so I think a lot of that anxiety is kind of starting to alleviate.

SR: Yeah. So then moving into the fall of 2020 now, how did you decide that you were going to go after school after this whole pandemic peak had just happened?

GE: Well school, like I said, it was something that I was always very determined to do. Was always kind of a part of my plan. I had considered taking a gap year 00:20:00just cause I knew some of my friends were doing it as a way to kind of save money during this time. And also because they didn't feel like it was as worth it to start as online school. But I don't know, I felt confident that I could still get the most out of the experience and that I--I've always kind of been somebody that the idea of a gap year just never really sat right with me. I'm kind of like a go, go, go kind of person. And so if I were to kind of take that time off, I felt that, a lot of my goals and stuff would be put on hold and I didn't really like that idea.

SR: Yeah. So then when you were in the middle of kind of deciding that you were still gonna go to school, were you still worried about like safety and health risks on campus or even like the quality of education that you'd be receiving?

GE: Honestly, personally, I knew that like starting college and stuff, that I was definitely gonna be more likely to kind of, to like get COVID, but I also knew that because I wasn't in such close proximity with like my family and like, 00:21:00my mom specifically, that I wouldn't be posing as much of a, like a safety risk to them. Which made me feel kind of better about it. Like I knew that like by going to school, I was putting myself in more danger, but because I wasn't putting like my family in more danger, it kind of made me feel better. I was definitely worried about like the quality of education and, just, I, I mean, I didn't know what college normally looked like, so I had no idea how it was gonna look like in the state of pandemic.

SR: Yeah. So then why did you kind of finally decide to live on campus instead of even staying home?

GE: Well, I don't know. I just know that like, whenever my sister would talk about college, she always talked about like the way that she was able to make friends was by like meeting people who lived on her floor and going out places with her roommate. And so I knew that if I didn't get that, that on campus experience my freshman year, that I would probably miss out on a lot of those things. And that social aspect was something that I had a lot of like stress 00:22:00anxiety about, and I didn't wanna be further behind that than I already felt like I was.

SR: So then when, once you were finally on campus, what kind of precautions did you see around campus?

GE: Well definitely like wearing masks everywhere and I know it was really weird, like the whole dining hall experience, like not really being able to eat at Blackhawk for that long period of time was definitely strange. And then, like the, to go containers being used at Blackhawk versus just like regular buffet style serving. And it was definitely very weird to go into a classroom and see like a bunch of the chairs being like taped and taped off and having to sit six feet apart from people. And then also, one of the, I'd say like the most jarring thing was going to like a choir class and having to stand 10 feet away from the person next to me. It was definitely very isolating

SR: Yeah. So then in the fall of 2020, most of our classes were still online. So 00:23:00what was it like taking online classes, but still living on campus?

GE: Online classes were a challenge. The biggest thing that I struggled with was just finding the motivation to actually attend and pay attention to the online classes as I'm sitting in my bed, in my pajamas, like eating my breakfast. It was definitely hard to pay attention and also hard to make a connection with the professors. I feel like that was something that I really missed out on through the online classes.

SR: So then what was campus like, like how was it different from what you had expected?

GE: It was definitely different in the aspect of just like, I didn't feel like I got interact with as many students as I would've been able to on a normal year. Especially now, seeing how many people are around campus. Like it's such a big shift from how our freshman year went that I definitely feel like that's something I got to, I missed out on.

SR: Yeah. So then your freshman year, did you take any in-person classes?

00:24:00

GE: I did. I had a few in person classes each semester.

SR: Okay. And then what did an in person class look like?

GE: Well we sat like six feet apart from each other. We had our mask on, our professors had their mask on. And then there was always, there was usually people who were also attending the class online. So we had to have like a projector in front of the class with like the Collaborate Ultra, or whatever program that professor was using, up on the screen, which was interesting.

SR: Yeah. So then kind of touching back a little bit on the dining. Did you feel like there were enough options or did it feel kind of limited because of all the precautions?

GE: I mean, starting out as a freshman, I didn't know what to expect from the dining experience. I mean, I'd never been told good things about on campus dining. But I definitely feel like the options were very limited, especially with it just being like two separate lines that you had to follow straight 00:25:00through and you didn't really get as many options as I imagined you would've been able to, if you had to, if you got to kind of jump around the area and go to different stations.

SR: Yeah. So looking kind of into college life itself then, were there any social events that you could still attend in person?

GE: I would, there weren't a lot of things going on in person. One thing that I did a lot my freshman year was like the in person, group exercise class classes, which I thought were fun. There were also like, there were still, oh, there were still like choir related clubs going on that were in person like the different acapella groups. Unfortunately I didn't get to participate in any of them, but I did go and like audition for a few and I thought that was cool that they still had those going on.

SR: Were you in any clubs your freshman year?

GE: I was not.

SR: That's fair. Okay. Were there any kinds of like sporting events that you 00:26:00could attend or was it all virtual?

GE: It was all virtual. I, we didn't go to any in person sporting events. The only thing that we really did was, I remember we watched a wrestling match virtually, which was kind of fun, but yeah, there was nothing in person really.

SR: Okay. So then kind of moving away from campus, what was off campus life like? Like were there places for you to go out?

GE: I do remember like, we went to a lot of restaurants and like cafes and stuff still, which was fun. But other than that, we didn't really do a lot off campus. I mean we went shopping and stuff, which was fun, but yeah.

SR: Do you feel like you went out often? Or do you think that you kind of restricted yourself due to the lockdown?

GE: I definitely didn't go out as often as I probably would've if it was a normal year. Mainly because there was just not as much going on, like, 00:27:00especially in like the Oshkosh area I just feel like there wasn't a lot of off campus, social life type things happening.

SR: Okay. And then moving into COVID testing on campus, how often did you have to get tested?

GE: I had to get tested once a week until I tested positive for COVID, and then after I didn't have to get tested for three months.

SR: Okay. What kind of feelings did you have towards the weekly testing then? Like, were you annoyed or did you like appreciate that it was happening?

GE: Honestly, I really appreciated it was happening. It was really nice to be able to check in on the COVID dashboard and see like how our numbers were doing. It just kind of gave some security that what we were doing on campus to help with the pandemic was actually working, especially with how frequent the testing was. I mean, we had a really accurate reading of the progress of the pandemic, specifically on our campus. And I think that helped a lot of people.

00:28:00

SR: Yeah. Did you know anyone personally that was close to you that got COVID?

GE: Yeah. So throughout like the, it was like between, like towards the end of first semester and then the beginning of second semester, pretty much me and all of my friends got COVID at some point.

SR: Yeah. What was it like, like dealing with actually having COVID then?

GE: For me personally, it was, it was horrible. I had really, really bad symptoms. I, I have pretty severe asthma and it definitely took a toll on my lungs and I still have some effects from it today. But yeah, especially like being quarantined in Gruenhagen was just very, it wasn't a great experience, but I mean, I had COVID so I didn't expect it to be like lovely.

SR: Yeah. What was it like quarantine, like quarantining in Gruenhagen then?

GE: It was, it was reminiscent of what I would imagine, like prison life to be 00:29:00like. I was confined to this tiny room with a very uncomfortable bed and the bathrooms in that building are not the best. The showers were a little haunting. I had frozen meals that I got to eat and it was just, it was not great, especially since I was one of the only people on my floor at the time in Gruenhagen. I just really didn't have any kind of human interaction at all for 10 days straight. So it was, it was rough.

SR: Yeah. Do you feel like, because you personally had to deal with having COVID and the symptoms and everything, do you feel like it kind of opened up your eyes to the severity of it?

GE: I would say so in a way, I mean, I definitely didn't fully understand just how bad like the symptoms could be. Especially like the lasting effect. Like, like I said, I mean, I still have some lingering symptoms from COVID. Like my 00:30:00asthma is still in pretty bad shape and it, I do believe that it like is because I got COVID that there's kind of some lingering issues there. So I definitely think it opened my eyes to just how bad it can be.

SR: Okay. And then now in the fall of 2021, the campus itself offered the VaxUp campaign to kind of motivate students to get vaccinated in order to win scholarships. How did you feel about the campus having that campaign?

GE: Honestly, I thought it was a great idea. I mean, I'm all for people getting vaccinated and protecting themselves against COVID, so any kind of incentive to get people who are maybe on the fence about getting vaccinated to get them vaccinated was, I mean, I, I was all for it.

SR: So then, like, what were kind of your personal thoughts on the vaccine itself? Like when it started and kind of now too.

GE: Well, I just know that like, they were giving a lot of information about the 00:31:00vaccine and I thought that there were of people who are very skeptical because it was developed so quickly. But I think that those people also didn't look into the different types of qualifications that the vaccine had to receive in order to become available to the public. So knowing all of those things and all of the different testing and stuff that they had to go through, I was very confident in the vaccine and I was very eager to receive it.

SR: Yeah. So like looking at things now, do you feel like, kind of like, life's kind of going back to normal?

GE: I definitely think that we're on our way. I think that there are still some things that could kind of stand in the way of things getting fully back to normal, and I definitely think that there are going to be some practices that we keep up even after things are like, quote unquote, back to the way that they were before. I remember talking about this with my boss at work and just talking about how, you know, life is always gonna be affected by the pandemic. Kind of like how, I mean, we still see different things in place because of like the attacks on 9/11. Like we still have different procedures that we operate, that 00:32:00we operate with today in our country because of that. And I think that COVID is also gonna have that kind of lasting impact on us all.

SR: So then what kind of changes would school have to make for you to call it back to normal?

GE: Oh, I don't know. It's hard because I don't really know what college looked like pre-COVID. I'm definitely, I mean, I'm excited that to get to a point where we don't have to wear mask anymore, as long as it's like safe for us to do so. And I'm excited for all the different in-person events to be offered, like they were before. But like I said, as long as that's all done, like in a timeframe that it's like safe for us to do so, like I'll be very excited for it.

SR: Are there any aspects about COVID life at school that you think won't go back to normal, or that you hope won't go back to normal?

GE: Hmm. I don't know. I think in general, maybe even outside of like the school 00:33:00situation, but I think that COVID opened up a lot of people to the importance of hygiene. And I'm very excited for the fact that, I guess maybe like in the sense of school, like the increased sanitation, I think that that's always a good idea. I mean, the idea of like cleaning classrooms more frequently and cleaning dining areas more frequently, I kind of hope that that sticks around cause I just think that's a general good idea all around.

SR: So then what about you? Do you feel like there's any personal aspects of yourself that you think that COVID has changed permanently?

GE: I think that, I think that COVID has made me a lot more politically aware than I was before. I mean, the whole pandemic kind of turned into a very political issue and it kind of forced me to kind of assess my own personal political position. And I think that that'll like be something that has forever changed in me.

SR: Yeah. How do you, how do you feel knowing that you're kind of living through 00:34:00a historical event right now?

GE: Honestly, not too stoked about it. I would rather be living through non-historical events. But I just think it'll be one of those things that in the future, like our generation will always be asked about and asked about how it affected us. And I think that that's like our generations thing. So, I mean, I wish that I wasn't living a, through a historical event, but I think it'll be cool to see how the generations that follow us kind of react to it.

SR: Yeah. Do you have anything else you want to add?

GE: Nope, I think I'm good.

SR: Okay. Well thank you for sharing your stories with us. We appreciate your contribution to the campus COVID stories at UW-Oshkosh.