A Time Capsule of the Corona Virus
My name is Joseph Harre, and this is what life has been for me through the coronavirus pandemic.
Since the pandemic had closed down Penn State, I have moved back home to live. There, I’m with my brother and parents, where we’re lucky because we’re all able to be working and making a paycheck.
My typical day revolves school, work, and my family. Working at a beer distributor, we were deemed an essential business and able to stay open. That is where I spend a lot of my time at during the day.
Work has been busy since the state shutdown began. It became even more hectic since Pennsylvania closed all the liquor stores. In the beginning, we had been doing Christmas or July 4th number sales.
Talking to customers, it is interesting to see how everyone is dealing with the pandemic. From those who are able to work, to those that are at home, everyone seems to be going about their days the best they can.
Sadly, we do have regular customers that have lost family. One regular in particular lost his dad to it because his mom was asymptomatic and didn’t know she had the virus. Another customer told us he has lost 10 family members already to the virus.
Situations like that are what make me realize how lucky I have been while working with the virus, especially with trying to finish my senior year.
At work, especially on Wednesday’s, I’ll be working on incoming shipments while being present to my lectures on Zoom thanks to my phone. It isn’t a perfect system, but it allows me to stay up to date with class work and not fall behind.
However, most of my class times fall on days I have off, so I’m able to do work in my room. Being a broadcast journalism major, gathering footage and doing video work didn’t keep me bound to the on campus resources.
At home, we’ve been able to have more family meals with each other. My parents weren’t expecting me to stay, but it is nice for the time to spend together.
Weekly, my family at home with my other siblings and uncle and grandma will have a Zoom meeting. They may only last an hour, but it helps everyone stay connected. It has especially been harder for my grandma, because she lives alone in a retirement building and isn’t able to see her friends much.
Due to the virus, there have been a lot of things I’ve missed because they were cancelled. There are other things that I will miss, or memories that never had the chance to be made.
The one thing most of all I’ll miss is the historic men’s hockey season that was cut short. Being the top seed in the conference and the regular season champions, I was hoping to witness their playoff games at the Pegula Ice Arena. I was also expecting to watch the NCAA tournament in Allentown, and maybe even see them make a Frozen Four in Detroit.
“We get by with a little help from our friends!”— Penn State Men’s Hockey (@PennStateMHKY) February 29, 2020
Following tonight’s results we have clinched the No. 1 overall seed in the upcoming #B1GHockey tournament and secured at least a share of the regular-season championship!! #WeAre #HockeyValley pic.twitter.com/AUXRDjq00j
Until I’m able to go back to State College with business open, I’ll miss the time out with my friends, especially in places like the Brewery, or any live band who will play Free Bird. I’m also sad to miss my final Blue-White football game, and see my “tailgate family” before I graduate.
Last night the band at the Brewery played Freebird and I’m still riding that high— Joe Harre (@joe_harre) March 1, 2020
There have been some upsides to having to move back home though. There is the chance to make money while working, and the time spent with family. There is also the time I’m able to spend with my girlfriend and her family.
We were unsure how much we would be able to see each other in the last months of classes being at different colleges. There were also questions of how long we would see each other before she leaves to Ohio State for her PhD in Biomedical Sciences.
Being home meant we got to spend more time together, which has made a lot of quarantine much more bearable.
While my job search has been put into limbo, all in all, there have been a few good things to come from this pandemic. It also puts into perspective how lucky I really am to be surrounded by my friends and family.