Pandemic Panic

Madison Gilbert, Blended Editor

With a global pandemic rocking the world, students’ everyday lives changed an unprecedented amount. What began as a local coronavirus outbreak in the city of Wuhan, China, quickly spread across the world in mere weeks. As local businesses, hair salons, and shopping malls shut down for fear of spreading the disease, many students looked at it as only an extended spring break, uploading beach selfies with captions like “coronacation.”

However, the one week extension to the end of March soon turned into halfway through April, and then until May. Students found themselves in uncharted territory- classes were transferred online, cities were virtually shut down, and many were quarantined in their house.

For students like Ashlynn Welch, the global crisis affected every aspect of their lives: social, emotional, and even professional. Welch, who worked at Whataburger, a popular hangout spot for students, experienced drastic changes in her workplace environment. Everything from money collecting procedures to the availability of the dining area changed.

I guess it has made me more aware of safety and making sure that not only am I protected, but the customers are as well,” Welch said.

After Whataburger shut its lobby down, the drive through was the only available option to the customers. Employees followed sanitation procedures such as strict handwashing methods and the mandatory use of gloves at all times. However, even with the coronavirus pandemic being a huge stressor in her life, Welch was still able to find a silver lining.

“Whataburger was deemed to be an essential workplace. Work has given me something to do instead of sitting at home all the time in quarantine,” Welch said.