Letter from the Editor: Despite COVID-19, AU community persists

When I left campus with two friends in tow for the week of spring break, I didn’t anticipate returning to a silent college campus.

I didn’t anticipate Augustana extending spring break an extra week. I didn’t anticipate classes going online until at least April 10, and I certainly didn’t anticipate breaking any of those stories from the kitchen floor of an Airbnb in Boston, where colleges and universities had already surrendered their spring semesters to online platforms.

I don’t think any Augustana student thought that coronavirus would seep into the heart of the United States from both the East and West Coasts: uprooting classes, sending those studying internationally back home and canceling almost every spring sport. 

There are nearly 10,500 COVID-19 cases in the United States with 150 resulting in death, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Scientists and politicians ask that we do our part to “flatten the curve,” or help slow the virus’ spread by socially distancing ourselves from others and isolating when necessary.

For college administrators, this means moving classes online, sending those living on campus home, telling athletes that championships will have to wait for next season, and breaking the news that students might not see their professors in-person again until the fall.

Fighting off coronavirus means that we, as students, have to sequester ourselves from the Augustana community for the sake of those that we care for most — our friends, family, classmates and professors. And that sucks.

But that doesn’t mean our community has to disconnect.

Professors are still available via Google Hangout, and your classmates are, without a doubt, just a text away. You could also get creative and host virtual board game nights, drink glasses of wine over video chat or even make GIFs and send them to those who’d appreciate them most.

If we don’t, the next few months are bound to be some of the most lonely and depressing that we’ll ever see. In times like these, it’s important that we stick together, even if we can’t actually gather together in the same space.

At The Augustana Mirror, we plan to do our part to continue serving as a campus connection for students. We’ll continue to report on what happens at Augustana, even if it’s over the phone, via email or tweeting from our hometowns. That being said, we need your help — your news tips, sources and thoughts from the homefront.

As editor in chief, I promise that we’ll continue to break news and publish as many articles as we can for the sake of our campus community — even if it’s from our kitchen floors.

Together, we can get through this.

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