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Talon staff shares what life is like under social distancing orders

Due to the global COVID-19 outbreak, Oklahoma Christian University students are having to adjust to taking online classes and living at home. Talon staff members are no different. 

Each Talon staff member shared their experience of what life has been like away from campus. 

Keaton Ross, Editor-in-Chief. Edmond, OK 

“I am still living on campus, but my life is totally different than it was even two or three weeks ago. I am trying to distance myself from others and avoid unnecessary trips, and with most people away from campus, that makes social distancing easier.

I have started walking the Eagle Trail every night to get out of my apartment and move around, and it is almost ominous to see how empty campus is. Traffic is much lighter than it normally is. Grocery stores, gas stations and takeout restaurants remain open, but that’s pretty much it. I have spent most of my time playing video games, catching up on classwork and reading news about the coronavirus. Like most seniors, I remain concerned about how the coronavirus will affect my job search after our informal ‘graduation’ in about a month.” 

Paige Holmes, Copy Editor. Oklahoma City  

“I live in Oklahoma City, and it feels like the situation is changing by the day as new case numbers are reported and various government agencies issue statements to the public. Oklahoma Gov. Stitt’s ‘safer at home’ policies went into effect last night, which means vulnerable populations are encouraged to stay at home until the end of April and non-essential businesses are closing. 

I am stocked up on food and essentials, and I am trying to stay in my house as much as I can to keep myself and others safe. Both my dad and my husband are immunocompromised, so while COVID-19 probably will not affect me too much if I get it, it could have serious complications for them. That is why I am taking self-isolation seriously and trying not to leave the house unless I have to. I spend my days doing schoolwork online, reading, playing video games and taking walks around my neighborhood.”

Elise Miller, News/Opinions Editor. Murphy, TX 

“I live in Murphy, TX, a small town just north of Dallas County. While Dallas County has shelter-in-place orders, Collin County officials ordered citizens to ‘Stay Home and Work Safe.’ Surrounding counties have placed similar orders. This decision sparked controversy as officials said ‘essential businesses’ will be able to operate. However, Collin County considers all businesses essential for the economy. Even though my county had the first case of COVID-19 in Texas, many are still going to work. It has been strange staying at home for such an extended period of time, but I appreciate the extra time I have to spend with my family. The only difficulty with everyone staying at home is the constant battle for Wi-Fi to complete our school and work assignments. But I am fortunate that the Wi-Fi battle is the biggest concern for my family. While I miss my roommates and friends, I look forward to the day we will all get to see each other again.”

Paige Steeley, Assistant News Editor. Tulsa, OK 

“Life under quarantine is largely uneventful here in Tulsa. I wake up, tune into my classes, do homework and endure the hours of relative solitude. However, this isolation has given me a newfound appreciation for so many aspects of my life. I can enjoy settling down in the living room to laugh with my family, taking leisurely strolls around the neighborhood with my dog or investing in hobbies like cooking and baking. While I miss the activities on campus, the people I love, the independence of my own space and even interacting with my professors, quarantine gives me the chance to take a breath, enjoy the beautiful spring weather and appreciate a simple life. It is a lesson in contentment and peace in the face of the unknown.”

Morgan Boling, Sports Editor. Somerville, TN

“For the past week, I stayed in Somerville, TN, a town about 45 minutes east of Memphis. The county where I lived experienced its first confirmed case of COVID-19 while I was there. 

COVID-19 became real to me while I was there. Seeing no one at the movie at 8:30 p.m. on a Saturday night. Having to drive to multiple drive-thrus at 9:00 p.m. to get food because every restaurant changed their hours and no one was open. Not being able to go anywhere with my friends. We sat at the kitchen table and talked a lot. 

The day my boyfriend and I left, Memphis and the surrounding counties went into a shelter-in-place initiative, which closed all non-essential businesses. Travel was kind of odd during this time. There was less traffic, and every gas station had signs about the measures they were taking to help prevent the spread of the virus.

Not much for my family has changed. My sister, who is in eighth grade, is out of school until April 24. My father works for the government and has to work at home. Personally, I was worried about work as well. I work for the Oklahoma City Blue, the G-League affiliate of the Thunder. With the NBA season over, my job stopped; however, the Thunder organization announced they will continue to pay part-time employees, which is a huge blessing. 

Graduation being postponed stinks. Having our semester end early also stinks, but looking for ways to be positive with family and friends during this time has been so important.”

Caleb Brown, Assistant Sports Editor. New Braunfels, TX  

“My quarantine experience thus far has not been awful, which is something I am grateful for. Since everything has kicked off I have spent time at a lake enjoying nature and the company of my family and a few close friends. I am from New Braunfels, TX, and the grocery stores here are basically war zones. It is a cutthroat battle to get what you need. For a week it was you either got to the store at the beginning of the day and got what you needed, or you showed up in the middle of the day and ended up leaving with a can of beans and no toilet paper. I think in the past few days they have limited how many items you can get, which God willing is going to help with everyone hoarding.”

Errett Edwards, Co-Features Editor. Allen, TX 

“The neighborhood still has its buzz. People are out and about—walking, exercising, conversing as neighbors—that much is still the same. In Allen, TX, a growing suburb in the northern DFW metropolitan area, we are fighting the effects of COVID-19 just like everyone else, but it doesn’t feel like it’s hitting us too hard. Dallas, just a short drive south, has enacted shelter in place, and there are rumors we are soon to follow. There has been one case of coronavirus reported in the city, but it was well maintained and there have yet to be any more cases documented. 

Like most towns, there is an eerie feeling at the heart of everything we do. The shelves at Walmart seem to continually be picked clean of household essentials, but there are still ways to find what you need. During this time, I’ve been able to enjoy the company of both of my parents and two brothers as they have also been sent home from work and school. In a time where it is paramount to seek the positive, their presence offers a small but warming effect.”

Reese Gorman, Co-Features Editor. San Antonio, TX 

“Today and for the past two weeks I have been at home, life has been crazy. Luckily the golf course is still open, so I can play and get my boredom out that way, but being home just sucks. It’s so weird going from having all the freedom you could want to now having to live back with your parents and follow some of their rules, which isn’t much, but it still just blows. It’s super weird, and I never in a million years expected to be going through something like this. 

I don’t think any of us thought we would be going through this, but here we are. Nothing on Earth makes sense right now. I feel as though we’re in a movie waiting for Will Smith to come save us. I guess we will have to suffer in quarantine for a little bit and hopefully everything will go back to normal and be OK. I really just want us to defeat this virus. It’s a scary thing.”

Drew Eckhart, Entertainment Editor. Edmond, OK 

“Despite school going online, Edmond remains essentially the same. I have not actually left my house in about half a week, but things seem relatively the same from home. In a strange sense, it feels as if summer started a month early for me and my sister. We still have to go to class, but we get to do it from the comfort of our own rooms. My parents are working from home for now, too. The whole family is in one place, but we are each busy doing what we would normally do, at school or work, at home. 

As much as I try to compare this to other experiences from my life, I do not think I can really do that. The whole not being able to leave aspect really stands out. Watching church on my TV and seeing my professors give lectures from their homes on Collaborate is odd, too. I still have not worked up the nerve to turn my webcam on for all my classmates to see, by the way. Even with all the things that modern technology allows us to do, nothing can really replicate the feeling of face-to-face interaction. I know things are going to be like this for at least another couple weeks and maybe even a few months, but it still feels surreal.” 

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