One step forward and two steps backwards seems to be a saying that represents the world we are living in. With news of many companies announcing that they have successful vaccines waiting in the wings, many thought we had turned a page and were headed for better days. But, the coronavirus said sike and has gotten worse. With numbers on the rise, the city of Philadelphia announced many restrictions that will impact Saint Joseph’s University’s students.

PHILADELPHIA, PA – AUGUST 24: Dr. Susan Liebell (right), Associate Professor of Political Science at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, teaches her first class of the day under a tent on the school’s grounds on August 24, 2020. Liebell requested that some classes be taught outside this fall in light of COVID-19. (Photo by Rachel Wisniewski/For the Washington Post)

The city has issued a notice that all colleges and high schools must shut down on Friday, November 20th. Luckily, the university had already announced that students would not be returning to campus after Thanksgiving break in order to limit the travel back to school and the possible spread. Turns out, this is what we would have been required to do anyway.

Hawk Chill has previously addressed the ongoing struggles SJU students are facing: balancing a global pandemic and their regular course work. Articles such as what it is like to be a student in quarantine, managing burning yourself out, tips to succeed in online final exams and how to prep for finals at home are helpful resources to go back to for guidance as we enter the final stage of the semester. 

SJU students wearing masks in Saxby’s
Source: Saint Joseph’s University Website

Philadelphia’s order to close colleges goes from Nov 20th until January 1. The spring semester for St. Joe’s is planned to begin on January 19th. While 75% of our poll voters on our Instagram story believe students will return in the Spring, we have learned this year that these dates for closings and reopenings are subject to change. It is very realistic given the current state of the country and the pandemic that Philadelphia may extend their restrictions for an additional period of time. If this were to happen, the in person start date would have to be pushed back. With only 26% of our poll voters planning to take classes fully remote, Zoom classes are clearly not ideal nor the favorite for many, but might be a necessity.

While SJU students care about their in person classes, they have also tried to keep a sense of normalcy alive in a safe manner. Over the past few months, students have enjoyed going out to dinner with friends, going into the city masked up and other activities. However, with the city’s new restrictions, students will be limited once again. These restrictions and limitations hinder a lot of people’s abilities to do these activities. In addition, with cases on the rise and the weather is getting colder it may feel like were back at square one.

Students gather for class in a makeshift outdoor tent due to COVID-19 regulations
Source: Saint Joseph’s University Website

There is no doubt that these restrictions may have SJU students down in the dumps. Curveball after curveball continues to be thrown and it feels like we keep swinging and missing. As frustrating as this is, it is important to remember that we are all in this together and we will get through it. In the meantime, do not forget to stay in contact with friends, keep up with your school work and wear a mask.