By: Ashely M. Diaz and Miguel Ruiz
Ever since COVID-19 had surfaced and impacted the U.S., society has drastically changed into a "virtual reality," leaving classes, meetings, church and social gathering via online.
Taking the right preventative cautions, most PCCC students have refrained home to wait for the news that their classes will shift to an online platform. Many students shared their fear that PCCC was delayed in deciding the go-plan in the midst of this national crisis.
Many wondered whether or not, spring break will be extended or the break is all that's granted.
"An email was given to all staff that would allow students to miss class without a doctor's note... further it is possible that all classes would become online classes," a professor mentioned.
With this new granted freedom, Professors have become worrisome that students would use the crisis as an excuse for multiple absences.
On Friday afternoon, Paterson Public Schools announced that all schools would close from March 17 to April 1st, leaving many PCCC students, who are parents at home with their children.
Paterson Public Schools is but one of many public schools across the state that have planned to close all schools for an elongated time.
With public and private schools closed across the state, PCCC students and staff parents are forced to remain home.
Evidently, it is safe to say that PCCC will follow other colleges and public schools and close for much longer than the expected spring break length.
"This won't really be a spring break- it's quarantine. We have a curfew and everything is closed," a student mentioned.
Alondra Acosta, Criminal Justice Major, shared that she has been spending her spring break searching for toilet paper and lysol.
There is no telling how long this virus break will last, but all graduating PCCC students hope that it would not affect their graduation.
" I would hate to be apart of the first graduating class to have graduation over zoom, said, Katherine Avila, Journalism major.
Students interviewed within the PCCC campus were concerned about the coronavirus outbreak. Anthony Rojas, a 19-year-old computer science major, commented on his perspective of the virus. “I’m not too worried personally because I’m a healthy young adult,” Rojas stated.
“The concern comes from people I’m close with like my father, who is 66 years old and has several health issues already on his plate.”
Students also must switch to an online platform as an effort to reduce the risk of exposure to the Coronavirus. Rojas responded, “As a computer science student, my courses are more naturally suited to online instruction,”
“However, other classes are not suited to online learning, such as physics or chemistry classes, which require labs. So it may be more difficult for them. Also, some faculty members aren’t suited or prepared to transition to teach digitally.
21-year-old Tanjim Ahmed, a criminal justice major, said the opposite.
“The closures are necessary,” stated Ahmed. “It is helpful to use the time to get into new hygienic habits without missing school or work.”
With further concerns about the virus, students are questioning the coverage of the media as well.
“I think it is important for them to spread correct information on how to mitigate the damage of the outbreak, instead of tossing blame around and using it for political leverage,” Rojas exclaimed.
Harold Dominguez, a 19-year-old engineering major, there is some cause for concern but not to a high stake. “I think the virus is severe, but the media is at an intensity level of 10/10 when it should be at an 8/10,”
“There is a new problem, but it is being blown out of proportion, and that is when I think money is involved.”
One interesting effect of the widespread epidemic and fear is the desolation amongst cities. The primary outbreak area from which numbers continue to rise astronomically is New York City. Upon visiting midtown of Manhattan, no one can is around, and the bustling streets of the concrete jungle are eerily silent.
With the fear of contracting the virus, many people are urged to stay indoors and practice “social distancing,” a method to control how close a person can get to an individual. With the increasing number of positive cases of COVID-19, local, state, and the federal government has taken massive precautions to limit exposure.
While not mandated yet, curfews are strongly suggested between 8 PM and 5 AM by Governor Phil Murphy of New Jersey. While not guaranteed, many restrictions from dining in restaurants or shopping at malls will consider being off-limits to the general public.
The anxiety of the virus and the multiple closing is undeniable, but all PCCC students and Staff can expect more information to be reported on as it is given.