Life changing: In their own words

Local News

As we all know, the spread of the coronavirus has been life changing for so many people.

Gymnasiums sit empty.

“This season was definitely one that was very exciting for us,” USD junior basketball player Hannah Sjerven said.

Classrooms and hallways are dark.

“Obviously students are the heart of every school and without the students here, it almost feels empty, it’s a bizarre feeling,” Washington High School English teacher Jillian Thomas said.

Bars and restaurants are quiet.

“Little over three and a half weeks now there’s a lot of uncertainty, sadness and a little bit of anger but it’s just more of the unknown of when we can reopen and how is everyone getting back to normal,” Gateway owner Jackson Rentschler said.

If you listen closely, you can hear the unmistakable sound of fear.

“My fear is that it continues to spread and more people get sick and obviously the number of people dying increases that it continues on longer than we expect and hopefully that doesn’t happen,” Thomas said.

“It’s scary it’s and it’s overwhelming, I think if you let those scary things take precedence in your life it’s easy to be brought down by that and to be overwhelmed,” Jessica Gorsett said.

“I think my biggest fear is how long this is going to last and just how much more this is going to continue to affect our lives,” Sjerven said.

“We’re doing a lot of remodeling a lot of deep cleaning you just kind of think about your staff and how they are doing if they are able to keep their head above water missing your customers everyone is like a big family here it’s a scary time,” Rentschler said.

The coronavirus has impacted us all, in so many different ways.

“Me personally as a teacher in so much of what I do is centered around relationships and so not being able to see my students, not being able to collaborate with staff, it’s really impacted how I have to approach my job and made me a little bit more thankful for those daily interactions with students and staff,” Thomas said.

“The tournament was something we had been looking forward to for months, since last June and to win the Summit League tournament and a few days later to find out we weren’t going to play those games was obviously huge for all of us, but I think the biggest effect has to be on those seniors and other athletes who are spring sport athletes that completely lost their season it’s definitely an adjustment not to have those games,” Sjerven said.

“It is busy, everyday is a little different, you think you have a grasp on it you know ‘we got this’ and then the next day you get hit with 150 patients in the drive-thru and more in the clinic so you just plan the best you can every day and make it through it,” clinic supervisor Crystal Christensen said.

“I find myself getting a little emotional reading articles about all the people it’s impacted it’s hard for me to see the immediate impact because I don’t know anyone who has dealt with it but you feel for all those people who have had family members get the virus or had a family member pass away, lose their jobs,” Thomas said.

“We never really got to meet as a team after everything got cancelled we are all back in our respective homes I’ve talked a little bit with them then individually, I think they’ve all come to terms with it but it’s a different ending than what they deserved and what they were expecting,” Sjerven said.

“My hope is that people stay home, the social distancing works, we flatten the curve, and that’s sooner than later, kind of go back to normal and gain a sense of normalcy and people will appreciate their daily interactions with others and embrace their old lives with a new perspective on how they’ll proceed,” Thomas said.

“I think my hope is the people who are working so hard to keep us safe and healthy can find a solution that we can get back to a newer version of normal and hopefully by this summer get back into the gyms and get back to work, Sjerven said.

“My hope is we get through this and everyone comes back and we’re stronger than ever especially sports,” Rentschler said.

“I think it’s really put in perspective what’s important just how much we take for granted everyday and it’s made me very thankful for everyone who’s out there still working to keep things as normal as they can,” Sjerven said.

“It makes me want to help everyone else to get through this to know love wins, it’s okay, it’s going to be hard, in this world it’s going to be hard but it will get better,” Gorsett said.

“One step at a time, we will get through it,” Christensen said.

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