When the semester began, I did not think that a virus pandemic would occur around the world. I remember the first news I read about what was happening in Wuhan, China was before I returned from Argentina to Hawai’i in January.
Back then, I thought it was just crazy news of a strange disease spreading far away from where I live. I honestly didn’t worry or get alarmed. I returned to Hawai‘i in January to resume my studies at KCC, and I remember that during the months of January and February the death toll in China skyrocketed and the virus began to spread throughout Europe.
The moment I heard that the virus had already reached Europe, I knew that the whole world was going to suffer the consequences because the days were passing and the countries were not closing their airports. Thus we were all exposed to a pandemic contagion with almost apocalyptic sensations.
The world was beginning to behave strangely around me, but there was still not much information about the spread of the virus in the United States, so you could breathe that feeling of uncertainty on campus.
I had the idea to write an article in which I explained why I felt that the people around me were exaggerating about what was happening, and I even played down what was happening justifying that humans die in all parts of the world, all the days and all the time.
Later I understood that the danger was that all the health systems around the world would collapse and, of course, the number of deaths multiplied day by day in ways that were hard to believe.
Around March I assumed that I was not going to be able to make my trip to Europe. On May 19th I was supposed to be getting on a plane to London to stay for the summer with my family but that started sounding impossible as trying to get toilet paper at the supermarket.
The day that I really realized that what was happening was really serious was in my last MATH 100 class when my teacher Justin Kong informed us that this would be the last day of face-to-face classes. Everything that followed is difficult to put into words because it is worthy of a fictional movie script.
After almost a month and a half of quarantine, I am working from home, I have spent my birthday away from many people, I had to cancel my vacation, and my family in Argentina is authorized to go out only for an hour on the street per day. I really underestimated what was happening because it was hard to believe.
If someone had told me in December that all this was going to happen, I think I would have laughed and not believed it. Today I am waiting for May 31 for the lockdown to be lifted, but I have a feeling that the world will never be what it was again. And that is fine. As a society we cannot ignore the reasons that made us come to be in this situation in which we find ourselves subjected today.
I hope that the world that begins after all this crazy experience is a better world than the previous one. That we all have had time to reflect on how finite life is, and the things that are truly important and those that are not. Finally I think I will never underestimate an unknown evil virus again, nor will I laugh.