I am scared. I live in fear that was largely created by the Unversity's selfish, money-grabbing ploy of opening campus. I am afraid to go home because I might bring COVID-19 back to my family. I am afraid to stay in Chapel Hill because I might get it myself. But weighing the heaviest on my mind, I am afraid for my friends and peers at Chapel Hill. Watching my friends getting tested, living in fear, mental health deteriorating, and even contracting the disease that has already killed so many is heartbreaking. We are all experiencing a kind of grief and pressure that has not been felt from UNC's student body for a long time while trying to navigate remote learning. Trying to hold my own while supporting so many peers whose lives are falling apart sometimes feels like more than I can bear.
I am happy through the strength of so many advocates the school decided to cancel classes being held on the 24th and 25th, but this is not enough. I beg for more compassion for the students who are dealing with an unprecedented crisis. The emergency pass/fail grading that was implemented through Spring 2020 and the summer sessions being extended is a small token that could improve the lives and well being of so many students. Saying that we knew what we signed up for is completely untrue as I am surprised every day by the devastation echoing from the poor decision to open campus. Saying that because the drop deadline was extended we can simply leave any class where it will be too difficult to pursue in this environment is just belligerent. I cannot afford to drop the classes I am in for a multitude of reasons and I know many in the same position as me. UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media has already taken this step, but the rest of us are still waiting for some kind of hope.
Would it really hurt UNC Chapel Hill to reach out a hand to all of us who are struggling in this way? Would it be so detrimental to show us this kindness?
Can we have compassion?