No one can be blamed for the chaos that unfolded the past two weeks — it is simply the nature of a pandemic to wreak havoc on the normalcy of everyday life. At the beginning of last week, it seemed inevitable that we would somehow be affected, but denial was easier. It was on Wednesday that an email sent to Villanova students, faculty and staff delivered the rude awakening we needed in order to realize the extremity of the situation we are all living in.
At first, it seemed like most students were considering staying on campus to complete online coursework. Uncertainty clouded every decision, but we had hope that we could still be together and continue our daily routine with semi-normalcy. But as time passed, the severity of the Coronavirus became alarmingly clear. We read the news with fear, rumors were spreading rapidly and an aura of confusion lingered over campus. We simultaneously understood the necessity of all precautions, yet still wished it was not true. Our hearts broke with the news of the Big East Tournament and March Madness being canceled, but even more with the devastation that this virus is causing.
Students were left in limbo, with the possibility of returning to campus but also the cold reality that we very well may not be able to return for weeks or months. Emotions ran high because even if we could return, there was still a real chance that we would not see our classmates until next school year. It was not until Friday, through an email revealing that we must move out in accordance with Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf’s decision, that we had any certainty. The weekend came with sadness as parents arrived to help move their children out. Everything happened so fast, forcing us to live in the moment and appreciate the time we had left.
While things have been chaotic, we must give credit to the University for taking action under such stress and outside influence. Most of all, we must give credit to each other. The empathy and kindness exhibited by our classmates makes me feel truly lucky to be a Villanovan. Father Peter said it best: “I do know one thing — that when things are good, this community is really good. And when things are bad, there is no place better.”