For many Florida A&M University students, 2020 has quickly taken a left turn as the continuous spread of COVID-19 has led Tallahassee officials to issue a county-wide curfew of 11:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. amid the pandemic.
Some students who remained on campus are left to balance their coursework and practice social distancing, believing the measure to be unnecessary. To combat the influx of positive cases in relatively healthy areas the curfew is a necessary precaution needed by FAMU to preserve the health of its students and staff.
According to worldometer.info, the average incubation period for the coronavirus can last up to 14 days, leaving many victims asymptomatic and essentially silent carriers of the disease.
The majority of these cases won’t be tested due to scarce resources and will recover if properly treated and quarantined.
Despite the restrictions and lack of social interaction other students have adopted a positive outlook on the effects of the coronavirus. The hysteria surrounding the outbreak is causing more damage to students, like Stefan Davis, than the actual disease.
“The curfew is not harming us I think this is teaching us because many kids fall behind on their work,” said Davis. “It’s encouraging them to get away from these clubs, because they’re not open in the first place and explore themselves. This time that we have at home I honestly feel it is not a loss but a lesson.”
During this time, self-reflection is what many students need because the routine of school can be tiring and burnout students who aren’t afforded frequent pit stops. It can also be a useful tool, but the curfew isn’t as beneficial for students who work for a livable income. The fear of exposure doesn’t prevent them from working, however, it presents additional stress to their lives.
Korpo Sumo, a third-year social work student, works after the hours of 11:00 p.m. feels restricted, but she doesn’t think that the curfew presents a significant strain to her life.
“I’m not as productive but when I do go outside and I’m on the way home from work, the corporate headquarters at my job sent a letter for me to have with me at all times just in case I’m stopped,” Sumo said.
The prospect of staying inside unless it qualifies as essential travel is a tad foreign to students like Janisha Fort, a sophomore psychology major, who enjoys social activities at any point in the day.
“The curfew wasn’t necessary,” said Fort. “I can’t hang out with my friends nor walk at night so I would say it affects me.”
As reported by verywellmind.com, the effects of self-quarantining are more than just boredom or pursuing a TikTok career, but it causes students to develop symptoms similar to cabin fever — restlessness, claustrophobia and irritability — after being confined for extended periods of time.
For Generation-Z, the act of remaining in one spot out of necessity isn’t a familiar notion and it’s easy to take physical human interaction for granted.
Social distancing on the hill may be a new concept for some rattlers, while it’s welcomed by others. The welfare of the students consists of more than test results and symptoms, but it includes their mental health as well.