The coronavirus has put a damper on everyone’s life. As the world has been put on pause, a lot of students have returned home to be with family during this time of uncertainty. Some Florida A&M students, however, chose to stay put in their student apartments.
The state of Florida as of Sunday has approximately 20,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, and more than 400 deaths, while Leon County has more than 100 cases with no fatalities, according to health officials.
While students at FAMU and Florida State are from all over the world, Tallahassee may be one of the safer places to reside during this pandemic.
While other states have been put on lockdown and have lines wrapped around the grocery store, Tallahassee businesses are still open and curfew is enforced from 11 p.m.-5 a.m. Lockdown for Florida prohibits you from making unnecessary trips but has not been as strict as in other parts of the country.
Students who have chosen to stay in Tallahassee are still living pretty normal lives, doing school work from home and spending their days trying to stay occupied with the stay at home order.
Chloe Henderson, a senior pharmacy student, is one of many who decided to stay. She did not want to return to Washington D.C., her hometown where the cases are exceedingly higher than Tallahassee. As of April 10, Maryland is reporting 6,968 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 171 deaths associated with the virus, according to Maryland.gov.
This was not Henderson’s only reason for staying in Tallahassee. She also mentioned that she wanted to stay focused on her school work and going home might interfere with that and her normal routine.
“I, of course, miss my family but I figured the semester is just about over so I wanted to see it through,” Henderson said.
Henderson said her experience has been pleasant thus far, as she has been keeping herself busy with pharmacy school.
“I have been able to turn my living room into my classroom and it has allowed me to be extremely productive. I try not to stay in my room unless it’s time for me to go to sleep and I go on walks almost every day just to get out of the house and get some fresh air. Creating a routine for myself has really kept my sanity and my peace during this stressful time,” she said.
Not all students, however, specifically chose to stay in Tallahassee during the outbreak.
Third year nursing student Tajarelle James, had little to no choice when the pandemic broke out.
“My reasoning for staying in Tallahassee during the pandemic is due to my employment. I currently work at Capital Regional Medical Center as a CNA taking care of patients with and without the virus,” James said.
She added that things have been challenging during this time but she is optimistic. “Everyday things seem to get harder with the virus taking over, but I’m continuing to keep faith and trust in God that he will make this virus past.”
Her days consist of catching up on school work during the day and working 12 hour shifts at night. But even with all the hard work and long days, she wouldn’t trade her experience.
“If I could go back in time, I would choose to stay in Tallahassee because what people fail to realize is that these people need help. The virus is killing people day by day and U.S. healthcare workers are put in place to make a change and lower the percentage of deaths.”
Students who have stayed in Tallahassee, have created group chats to keep in touch during this time and ensure that everyone is okay.