I remembered the first time I heard about you in January and I was a little concerned. As a veterinary student, I have been learning and treating several strains of coronavirus. In animals, this RNA virus mainly affects the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts. But you were a different one, a novel virus that was spreading quickly among people around the world.
I wanted to tell you that you came to change my daily life and future. I had to adjust myself, learned to isolate myself from others or better known as social distancing. The hardest part was having my semester switched to distance education. My clinical rotations are now online, and I will miss the opportunity to take samples from actual patients, look at them on the microscope and analyze them. My graduation commencement has been postponed. There is a possibility of not getting to walk across the stage and receive my diploma. I was just a few weeks away to achieve my long-life dream of becoming a veterinarian It’s unbelievable that there is a chance I don’t get to celebrate my biggest accomplishment in life.
I never thought you will bring a lot of uncertainty, fear and anxiety in the life of many students including myself. I had to make quick decisions, change plans and go back with my family. I took a flight back to my home away from home. It was a risky decision and unexpectable way to leave my home in the South. I dreamed of leaving Alabama after graduation and receiving my doctorate in veterinary medicine. I dreamed of celebrating my senior banquet and award dinner with my classmates. I dreamed of saying goodbye to each one of my vet school friends. I did not dream of seeing how a virus became a pandemic and changed everything. It’s hard to believe how life is more fragile than I think.