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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Working at UHS during the COVID-19 pandemic

Working on campus is something a lot of UMass Boston students do. They give tours, help the police department, serve food, and do pretty much everything in between. With COVID-19, a lot of students were told not to report to work or to work from home. I was one of the lucky ones who got to stay on campus during spring break and work. I am a front desk person at University Health Services and we were considered an essential office. I spent a week working at a campus that was dead! No one was there and it was like a ghost town. I could walk across the entire campus without seeing a single person. It was very uncomfortable, to be honest with you. 

The first day of spring break, I ended up driving in because the train schedule had changed around so much. Plus, the school decided to make parking free. It was nice to be able to park in the garage and not have to worry about paying a $15 rip off. The drive into Boston was quiet and it was like driving through town. There was no traffic whatsoever and it made the drive go by quickly. Getting to Boston from my house usually takes about an hour to an hour and a half with traffic. Without traffic, driving into Boston takes me 30-45 minutes, depending on if I get hit by a line of red lights leaving my house. 

I started to stop by Dunkin’ Donuts everyday just for a sense of normal. Work was also very quiet. We had very few patients come in, and I would spend most of my day cleaning the check-in. I do not know if you have ever been to University Health Services, but we usually have two blue doors open for people to come in. We closed them for safety reasons. If you wanted to be let in, you not only had to wait outside, you also had to call our number to be checked in. We did not want to have a face to face interaction in case someone was carrying the virus. This was for the safety of the workers and the students who we see. It felt like I was in a movie and there was going to be a zombie apocalypse or something like that. 

Walking by the offices in the Campus Center would leave an eerie vibe with me. All of the plants in the windows, desks with papers on them untouched, and all of the doors locked so no one can get in. It is a very hollow feeling and that is the only way I can explain it. I have been at this school every week for at least three days and seeing the campus as dead as it was made my heart ache. It was like seeing my whole world fall apart in less than a week because of a pandemic. I am happy to be needed by my school and job, but I also feel guilty. I feel bad for the students who could not work. Then I heard about the seniors and how they would not be able to walk for graduation and it made me feel even worse about the situation. I know UMass Boston is just trying to keep us safe but I still feel bad for the students who were affected.