Commentary: COVID-19 Changes Everything

In early March, the United States started to prepare for an outbreak of the highly contagious virus known as COVID-19, or coronavirus.

Originating from Wuhan, China, the virus quickly became a global pandemic that impacted our daily lives.

COVID-19 is a virus that attacks the respiratory system and can be transmissible for up to 14 days, according to the CDC. Symptoms include fever, shortness of breath, sore throat, coughing and red eyes.

People who experience those symptoms and have a temperature of more than 100 degrees are encouraged to see a health care provider for proper testing and diagnosis.

According to the CDC, the most at risk are the elderly, smokers and those with underlying health conditions. However, the coronavirus does not discriminate on who it infects.

Social distancing, staying 6 feet apart from one another, and proper use of gloves and face masks are ways to reduce the spread.

All nonessential businesses have closed down, including retail stores, parks, salons, etc., and some restaurants are now only offering to-go services. Grocery stores and convenience stores are still open for individuals to purchase essential living supplies.

Schools and universities began to shut down rapidly for being hotspots for transmission. College campuses are at higher risk of an outbreak because of the difficulty in controlling social gatherings and closeness in classrooms and dorms.  

State took precautions after spring break by switching from in-person classes to remote delivery for students.

Students were forced to evacuate the dorms as a precaution.

Campus dorm residents who need to retrieve personal items should contact the Office of Housing and Residence Life at 304-766-3037 to arrange a time to do so.

President Anthony Jenkins has been communicating with the WVSU staff, students and faculty through e-mail and social media outlets to provide updates.

There are many concerns on the online delivery of some courses, and some students have had to adapt to a new way of learning their coursework for the remainder of the semester.

In an e-mail, Jenkins wrote, “May graduates are welcome to attend the December commencement ceremony to celebrate their academic success.”

All spring sports were cancelled, as was the commencement ceremony in May.

Many questions and unknowns remain, and State is working hard to find answers for students regarding services, financial aid, reimbursements, etc.

Usually during this time of the year, the State campus is full of students enjoying warmer weather, trees blooming and campus events, such as cookouts. The campus is now empty, and students and faculty are wondering when it will be full of life again.

Everyone in our country, and even globally, are experiencing unknowns about how everyday functions are going to change because of the pandemic.

Jenkins reminded everyone to regularly visit the special WVSU webpage that provides official information about COVID-19. It is available at

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