Christopher C. Gagliardi, Contributing Writer
When I was younger, and I didn’t have school, I would think about different things from time to time. I would have to say that being away from college life was not all of what I expected to be normal as spring recess was a time for me to chill out. However, this was absolutely an unprecedented moment in all of the 39 years I have lived upon this Earth. This coronavirus really made my spring recess an opportunity to keep myself occupied and I would like to share with you what happened during this time period as the extended spring week was given.
Monday, March 9, 2020 – Things were not all that different as I headed over to the college. But there was a good reason why I went…Math! I used the time to continue my math studies there, even though there was a lighter than usual crowd. It was a very surreal scene. Yet many of us didn’t know that things were about to change in an instant. The issue with the new coronavirus became apparent as the story broke that Bergen county had several new cases of this new virus, also known as COVID-19. But yet I was not fearful and still am not as I write this story with a calm head while making sure that what I am writing down is full of the facts that I continue to pour out as this story continues to unfold. After I went to math, I left for home knowing that the next day, it was going to change in a dramatic sense. I got home that night and just relaxed, my mother and I were all set for what was about to happen.
Tuesday, March 10, 2020 – Again, another good day to go to the tech center and continue my studies in math. Besides, as I was getting closer to the finish line, things were looking good and more importantly, I was so looking forward to an event in NYC which was the CMA’s (it is the rite of passage for any future journalist to sharpen their horizons at the college level). But alas, it was not to be. But then again, it may have been providence and good fortune we all made the agreement not to attend out of the safety of all of us because of this new virus. It was bitter news to take in, but nevertheless, a lifesaving thing that would have had serious results. The result was …. it protected all of us from the horrible fate that would have been. The news that day was when it was reported that a man in his 60’s had lost his life to the new virus in Little Ferry. This was the first causality in this unprecedented health crisis in Bergen County. As a result of this, the county executive declared a public health emergency for the county. That meant that our college got an extended spring recess. The day that I never thought would come has finally come. However, my mom and I were prepared for this crisis. We checked to see if we had enough supplies to help us last through this, and sure enough, we were set and ready to survive, and yes, in order to keep my mind occupied. I also luckily had movies ready in the DVD collection that I had saved for just such an emergency.
Now, Wednesday the 11th of March arrived, the beginning of the great combat to curb the coronavirus had begun. I began to sanitize and scrub my home down since it had been a while since I was able to have the time to clean my home. In addition, Bergen Community College in a bold move, CANCELED ALL CLASSES for the remainder of the year (in-person classes that is). This defies all possible explanations, my first thought: “My god! This is going to be a long recess for sure,” and it was almost like a nuclear bomb going off. Overnight, my world suddenly changed, everything that I had enjoyed, suddenly halted, time had stood still at that moment. My first thought was and still is: “This too shall pass.” It was in the mindset of all of us that we would be back at the college, yet, we did not realize how soon that we would all realize the suddenness of how much of an emergency coronavirus would be. We thought that it would be all over by the 23rd and we would be back at college.