ANNALISA DEL VECCHIO WRITES – I am an international student, a senior studying at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. I am Italian, and my roommate is Chinese. We share mutual sentiments regarding the COVID-19 pandemic in our home countries. After the initial lockdown announcement in Los Angeles, we purchased a lot of food and other necessities for the quarantine period. We understood the significance of quarantine since we were more informed than some in the US due to events that were already happening back in our home nations.

Since the alert, the situation has worsened. After the campus was locked down, all classes were shifted online. This was not what I imagined my last semester would be. Currently, I have many uncertainties and worries about my health status and the wellbeing of my family back in Italy. The news reports more COVID-19 cases and death, a possible indicator that the pandemic is at an early phase.

Although I feel blessed to be in Los Angeles, it is a bittersweet situation since I would love to be close to my family in Italy, and Italians in general, during these challenging times. At the same time, I feel safer in LA, where taking the necessary precautions and the situation in general, right now, is easier to handle.

In quarantine for two weeks, my time goes very slowly. The days feel endless and monotonous. I try to distract myself from the monotony by waking up late, working out, reading news and books, watching tv shows and listening to music all day. During my third day of the quarantine, the boredom was so high that I bought a ping-pong table to play table tennis with my roommate.

Presently, I have started online classes, and they are a better way of filling my daily schedules. I have reconnected with my classmates and professors, and I am glad to know about their wellbeing during the COVID-19 outbreak. But the pandemic has come with numerous disadvantages and losses.  I had to cancel my pre-planned trips and will not have a traditional college graduation.

I pray for Italy, the United States, and the whole world during these challenging times. I hope during this social distancing period people realize the significance of human connections and strive to make meaningful and positive relationships with others.


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