What Life Is For Me During the “Pandemic”

Dear Diary,

l just be honest up front about this, this is not going to be sugar-coated or fluffed up, it’s just going to be what my life is like. I’ll preface this by saying that I’ve always had trouble with depression in my life and loneliness prior to any of this occurring. I’m not completely sure where to start, but I guess the logical place to start would be back in March when MTSU decided that it would be a good idea to cut off our in person semester after spring break. Prior to spring break ’20, I had been happier because prior to covid, we were allowed to hang out with others, socialize, and just be human. After we were told that we were not coming back from spring break I thought to myself, “well I guess I’ll just have to wait until August to hang out with my friends again.” Boy was I wrong.

After that announcement from the university, and with all the over the top lockdowns, I got a job at an airport working with airplanes which is something that I love doing. As I started to get settled in and get to know my co-workers, my family then told me that we were going to be moving to a new part of the country where we know no-one. I also love to build full size aircraft kits that you can fly yourself, and I had been helping some friends out at the airport build their aircraft. I then had to go and tell them that I was moving and that I was no longer going to be able to help them build which was irritating to me because although they were 2-3x my age, they were still my friends and were always super nice to me. I then spent the next month and a half which happened to be the month and a half before the fall semester started packing boxes and moving them to storage, and to the new town 5 1/2 hours one way away. I spent that month and a half thinking about how I wasn’t going to be able to see or hang out with my friends that I had known for years and that I was moving to a new town that I knew nothing about and knew no-one. Every once in a while, it would pop in my head that once I go back to MTSU for the fall semester, I could go back to normal and hangout with my friends and get back to my usual self. Again, I was wrong about that.

When I got back to MTSU, I soon realized that I was not going to be able to hang out with my friends or anyone that I knew because of all the lockdowns. I’ll just get this one out there, quarantine is when you restrict the movements of the sick so as not to get others sick and tyranny is when you restrict the movements and actions of the healthy. I feel this is the only place that I can semi-safely say this because if I said this out loud, I would unfortunately be shut up real quick. If the public good demands that you restrict the movements and actions of healthy individuals or require compliance with something like a mask mandate or that you will not stand closer than 6 feet from someone, then public good be damned, I’ll have no part of it. There is a stark difference between restricting the movements of someone who is sick so as not to get someone else sick and restricting what a healthy person can and cannot do. I’m not sure who is going to be reading this, but I sincerely hope that MTSU reads this and understands what exactly it is they are doing here and how it affects the students and others on campus. I’ll reiterate myself for the last time, MTSU, I’ve talked to a lot of people on campus and I can assure you I’m not the only one that holds this opinion. Quarantine is acceptable because you keep those who are sick from spreading to others, but when you require us to comply with masks and social distancing under threat of punishment for lack of compliance, you are no longer “flattening the curve” or “doing this for the public good” you are giving orders and forcing compliance. That is not an appropriate course of action for any circumstance, especially for a virus with a survival rate of 99.97%. I’ll get off my soapbox here, but I felt that it was ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY to say all that.

Going back to what I was saying earlier, I’ll pick up at when I came back to MTSU and noticed that there was mandatory compliance with a number of mandates, my heart sank. My depression had been getting worse because I knew that I wouldn’t be able to see any of my old friends, but once I realized that I was going to hang out with friends again, it got better. Once I realized that these mandates meant that I could not be human and hang out with friends, it started to get worse again. That trend still continues to this very moment as I write this. Instead of requiring masks and social distancing under threat of punishment, a better alternative to help reopen the university would be to make it optional. What I mean by that is that if someone wants to wear a mask or social distance themselves, let them, but do not force someone to do so if they do not want to or are not sick. Give us the FREEDOM to choose for ourselves. We do not want to pay an exorbitant amount of money to come here and be told what to do day in and day out. MTSU, give students and faculty the choice to either wear a mask or not, social distance or not. We want to live in the land of the free, not the land of being told what to do under threat of punishment. I know people who have been turned into the deans office for not wearing a mask ONCE. MTSU, we are all adults here who can make decisions for ourselves. We treat you with respect, please start treating us with respect and let us make our own decisions. Please start treating us like adults and let us make our own decisions. Those who would like to still wear a mask are more than welcome to and the same can be said about social distancing.