My desk, an unfinished fish tank stand, is my new newsroom workspace, tucked away in my little sister’s old bedroom. My wedding dress hangs on the closet door waiting alterations that are, like everything, postponed.
Greenville, S.C.– I’m at home now, my semester in a Monday-Friday newsroom now online, my graduation postponed to an indefinite date, my wedding date set, but susceptible to an encroaching virus.
Not so long ago, my college friends around me cheered at an additional week of spring break, but each day since the coronavirus pandemic has spread more anxiety and uncertainty to the nation. I realize now I may not see my close-knit cohort of classmates together again.
My mom had to quit working as an in-home pediatric occupational therapy assistant and will lose all of her income for the foreseeable future. As an independent contractor, she is looking to new government guidelines to allow her to receive unemployment, but even with that she will only get a fraction of her normal salary. My family will have to seriously cut costs and be creative if this pandemic lasts for many months as expected.
My dad and I are now working from home. He works at the dining room table and I work at a make-shift desk, an old fish tank stand in the guest bedroom. My 10-year-old sister does her classwork on the couch for elementary school.
My fiance is in Charleston with his family four hours away. We are hoping and praying our September wedding will not have to be postponed.
With crowds limited to fewer than three people right now, I don’t know if a wedding with 150 people will be allowed in six months. There are currently eight confirmed cases in Buncombe County, North Carolina, where our Asheville wedding is scheduled.
My new normal is driving back and forth between Charleston and Greenville for the remainder of the semester.
There is a beautiful upside of this unexpected time with my family before my out-of-state summer internship and my marriage in the fall.
Life now is trying to see the joy in slowing down and staying at home, even though everything I’d planned for as a college senior is slipping away. I am hopeful that my summer internship and the income that comes with it will not be canceled, but nothing is certain.
Coronavirus has helped me relinquish any sense of control that I thought I had and trust in God.