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Humans in their households amid pandemic

Chicago has entered a second wave of the coronavirus, officials say, with rising cases and positivity rates prompting the city to roll back its reopening progress – a dramatic change from where the city was one week earlier, as reported by NBC Chicago.

According to the City of Chicago COVID-19 statistics, there will be an increased emphasis on current guidelines, effective 6:00 a.m. on October 23, for a minimum of two weeks. Restrictions include no household gatherings greater than six people of non-household members, as well as face coverings in all indoor and outdoor public settings.

Lightfoot had warned last Monday that some phase three restrictions could be brought back as the city enters a “second surge” of coronavirus, as reported by WBEZ. The city has been in phase four of its reopening plan since June 26.

Columbia College Chicago students turned inside their homes to share how friends and family have been coping with the pandemic since it began in March.

Isabel Colado


More wine, more walks

“Days before the pandemic was declared, an uncertainty set in a little bit,” said Stacey Tylka, a 48-year-old from Chicago. “There was a lot less confusion… before COVID. People were not as scared, and paranoid and uneasy. There were no huge lines in grocery stores trying to get the common things. Just pure chaos. At the beginning, it was a struggle because it was hard finding the basic things. There was no toilet paper, everything was being taken; no sanitary items, nothing at all.”

“Clorox was literally off the shelves, so you could not even find it,” Stacey Tylka said. “I was not hoarding any of these things, but a lot of other people were. So, to me, that was really hard.”

| Caitlin R. Tylka

“I did develop a coping mechanism which was drinking more wine and going on walks,” Tylka said. “I believe everybody was taking a walk; I have never walked that much in my entire life. Patience is something I also acquired more through this. Everyone had a lot of anxiety, including me, but you just had to deal with it, and walking helped with that. It was not easy staying calm under the circumstances we were in, always trying to remain calm even through situations like this. If this happens again, which I hope it doesn’t ever, I know what to do. You will know how to react to it, and take it as it comes.”

By Caitlin R. Tylka


A different perspective

“Honestly, the pandemic has brought me [into] a whole different level of social isolation,” said Julian Lyons, an 18-year-old from Burlington, Vermont. “I couldn’t handle it, I’m just such a social person. Being isolated is like losing $500 for me. I feel like it was harder in March and April than now. We were on complete lockdown every day with the stay at home order.”

“Now everything’s reopening, but the thing is, the cases are spiking,” Julian Lyons said. “It feels like it’s about to start all over again. I don’t know, it’s very weird and scary.”

| Evelin Chanchavac

“I’ve just learned a little bit on how to be happy by myself,” Lyons said. “I’ve been going on walks a lot more often and just overall taking care of my mental well-being and having a positive attitude every day. I feel like we’ve developed such a different perspective on the world. The world we were supposed to be living in turned all upside down and…. it felt like the world apocalypse.”

“Naturally, over time, I somehow developed this drive and motivation to do more every day,” Lyons said. “[At] the beginning of the year, I was struggling a lot with time management; I had a job and my senior project for high school. When the pandemic came, I had plenty of time to do stuff. I learned how to manage my time better, and be able to do the things I want. I just hope everyone’s doing well.”

By Evelin Chanchavac


Worried for our future

“It definitely ruined my last semester with my friends at high school because we had so many plans that we were excited for and anticipating and we lost all of that,” said Abra Richardson, an 18-year-old from Palatine, Illinois. “We didn’t get a prom, nobody celebrated our graduation, we couldn’t have our graduation parties and we couldn’t hang out with everybody. We wanted to have our last hangouts before everybody left for college and we didn’t really get that. It’s just disappointing.”

“As a student, doing online school for the first time in my life, it was hard,” Richardson said. “Nobody knew what was going on. The teachers didn’t know how to teach through Zoom and the students didn’t know how to get used to just doing online work for the last eight weeks.”

“Transitioning into college, it was tricky,” Richardson said. “Normally we have the orientations in-person. It’s easier to socialize with people around you and we didn’t get any of that.”

“We’re stuck in our dorms with the rules and regulations that we have to follow and it’s hard to meet new people,” Abra Richardson said.

| Cierra Lemott

“I’m starting to get more anxious as the pandemic continues,” Richardson said. “Our government isn’t really doing much because all they’re focusing on is trying to get another four years and it’s tricky. It’s just tricky in general because the guidelines [have] been enforced for so long and people are getting sick of it, so they’re not following them anymore and the cases are still rising. I’m worried for our future at Columbia next semester.”

By Cierra Lemott


Some silver linings

“Though it’s been hard to find positives during the pandemic, I have found some silver linings,” said Caroline Moore, an 18-year-old from Erie, Colorado. “When I was home from March to September, I spent a lot of time with my family, which brought me a lot closer to them. It was really nice because my brother was home from college, and I missed him. I also pulled all-nighters with my friends over FaceTime because we had nothing else to do. It was odd attending school online, but obviously now six weeks into college I’m used to it, and I actually like it.”

“I feel like I connected with myself and nature a lot more during the quarantine; it gave me a lot of time to reflect during drives and walks,” Moore said. “My family and I would seek out views of the mountains and sunsets a lot to get our daily dose of the outside world. Of course, it was hard not seeing my friends for so long, but we managed to stay extremely close through technology and socially distant interactions.”

“The biggest downside, for me, is that the pandemic has turned into a political issue when it should be something that unifies the masses since it’s now a universal struggle,” Caroline Moore said.

| Madison Parr

 “I think a lot of people are connecting through this virus and it’s making some people much kinder towards humanity,” Moore said. “On the other hand, some people are being more selfish in their response to this terrible thing that we are all going through, which is sad.”

By Madison Parr

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