Reader, I was all set to write an in-depth exploration into the two archetypes of writers in the journalism biz, and the delicate balance a quality publication must strike between them. You know, boring shit. Then all my classes got cancelled.
Okay, not all of my classes, and they didn’t really get “cancelled,” just turned into online classes for the indefinite future, until the federal government does something about COVID-19. But that’s just semantics: suddenly, fourteen hours worth of classes and six hours of commute time have evaporated from my schedule.
A couple years ago, I would have been jumping for joy about this. I love not going to class. I already barely attend my classes anyway. And when I do show up, I’m either half an hour late, or dozing off, or both. But now, I’m just annoyed: seniors are supposed to catch senioritis, not coronavirus.
It’s especially bad as editor-in-chief of Vanguard. We are in deep doodoo, and I’m not just saying that because our primary distribution method is to just dump stacks of newspaper onto a spindly wire framed little rack that was last cleaned in 2005. If campus closes – or effectively closes because all classes and on-campus activities get canceled – we have nothing to report on, and thus no paper to put out. And worst of all, all the good puns for our front cover are taken at this point! How many variants on “going viral” and “viral sensation” have I run into when looking into the coronavirus this month? Eventually, I came up with a fantastic pun, but it was completely unusable because CUNY isn’t using social isolation. Also, Ryan and Moises threatened to throw things at me if I ran the phrase “Sick Decrees of Separation” on the cover.
As of press time, CUNY hasn’t closed, and I doubt it will, no matter how much students complain. After all, coronavirus doesn’t show up in time-lapse photos of the LaGuardia belltower, so why should the administration care? Oops, that was mean. Let me try again: you know how in K-12 education, education plays second fiddle to providing essential services like free lunch? CUNY operates on the same principle. Closing campus and replacing classes with online instruction doesn’t quite work when many CUNY students rely on on-campus resources to access the Internet.
That being said, there is one bright spot in this whole coronavirus mess. My Tuesday nights on this campus often stretch into Wednesday mornings, where I have class at 11 in the morning. When I get home at 3 AM and force myself to wake up at 8 AM, I think to myself, “whatever, I’ll sleep when I’m dead.” Thanks to COVID-19, and the Trump administration’s deeply inept response to it, my wish may finally come true.