April 1, 2020
This article is part of a special series covering the 2020 outbreak of COVID-19.
We all see the updates streaming in constantly, the anxieties that have set in and uncertainties that all revolve around the Coronavirus. Almost all states are on some sort of lockdown or curfew. There is isolation in place for three weeks in Michigan, yet how will we be able to focus on the good when we become surrounded by loneliness. No hugs, high-fives, snuggles or kisses for weeks to come. Parents don’t want their college students to come back and infect their homes. How are these students and others affected by the virus supposed to create this virtual touch?
Snapchat, Instagram and Zoom or Facetime are ways that students are trying to reach out and connect with one another. During this time of isolation there still seems to be steady streams of hope flooding through. Facebook groups are created for neighborhoods to keep in contact and people are finding ways to still reach out and see one another in a safe exposure. For example, students are parking over six feet away from each other in parking lots and yelling across to each other to check-in and see how they are doing. Even if there is no personal contact being made, the point of which they all showed up to sit in their cars and yell to one another across a parking lot, this interaction speaks volumes.
Human connection was something I myself have not put much thought into. During this outbreak and being a witness to a pandemic, I have become intrigued and almost obsessed with the idea of interaction. Being told I can’t see my best friends; my grandmother who is 98; my sister who is stuck in D.C. now because she got relocated for a job; all started to eat away at me. There was no more holding hands or giving hugs. Nothing that could make it go away, but the creation of virtual touch started to help each day. Conversations on FaceTime that then involve doing puzzles together even though we are states apart from family and friends; showing activities with Facebook groups so that we don’t truly feel alone, but we are alone together — these create a virtual connection that feels almost like the touch of a human.
Jaclyn Krizanic is a junior studying Professional Writing and minoring in Graphic Design. Jaclyn plans to apply her knowledge and skill sets she has gained from her major into her current, future and professional work. Jaclyn loves to write poetry and inspires to publish a book of poems and short stories upon her graduation.