One Year into COVID

This past March marks one year of the COVID pandemic in the United States. Here at Lewis-Clark State College, many students went home and finished the semester online.

However, for some living in the dorms, they opted to stay and finish the semester from the dorms. I interviewed LCSC junior Dillon Dawson, who along with his roommate, opted to stay. Both roommates are also on the cross country and track team here at Lewis-Clark.

“It was definitely a cozy start to what would become such a long year,” Dawson said, “All the classes moved to online via Canvas, so I did all my school work from laptop in my room. Luckily, I wasn’t alone, I had my roommate who also chose to stay.

I think I had it better than most because I feel like people might get tired of their roommates after a while, but I actually grew up in the same town and we are actually pretty close friends, so we got along just fine. However, outside of our room, in the rest of Clark Hall, it was pretty dead, I think I knew one other person that was still in the dorms.”

Dawson said with the pandemic settling in, there wasn’t much to do, so when he wasn’t doing school work, he was playing videogames.

His roommate, Dillon Novich, a senior at LCSC, painted a detailed picture of what they did in their free time.

“I would often come into our room, to see Dillon sitting in his chair,” said Novich, “Playing on his Xbox, with his lab top next to him and even his Nintendo switch would be on. To finish it off, he had a Red bull or two with him as well.”

Not only had COVID messed up classes for them, it had also disrupted, what would have been their fourth outdoor track season here. COVID had forced schools around the nation to cancel their seasons. Dawson had just finished up with indoor nationals when COVID hit.

“Yah, me and the whole team were getting ready to get the outdoor season started,” Dawson explained, “We had just finished up at indoor nationals in South Dakota, where we had an ok showing. So it definitely sucked when things came to halt because we had dedicated so much time to our sport.”

Track wasn’t the only sport that got cancelled, men’s and women’s basketball programs were both about to start their national tournaments after having strong performances in their conference championships.

It was even more devastating for both basketball programs because they had been working so hard throughout the season, and right when the national championship tournament was about to start, the door closed right in front of them.

Unlike the basketball programs, outdoor track hadn’t started yet, but when things shut down, the first meet was only two weeks away.

“Yah, it was pretty disheartening but at least we got to finish indoor nationals,” Dawson explained, “But the basketball players had it the roughest, having nationals cancelled blows, especially when you could have maybe done something special that year.”

A year later, both are still roommates together, but are now living off campus. Dillon Dawson is now a senior at Lewis-Clark, is getting ready to finish up his cross country season, which is usually in the fall but got moved to the spring.

“We were hoping we would be able to run in the fall, as the whole team had still trained all throughout the summer, but pandemic conditions weren’t good enough, and the NAIA ended up postponing it to the spring,” Dawson claims, “So we have been training for cross country since the start of the summer and we won’t finish until April 9th, when we have nationals in Iowa.

So it will almost be a year of focusing on cross, which is quite a lot on the body as well as the mind. Add the pandemic, it’s for sure, pretty tough.

Luckily, later in the fall, we got to run a few intrasquad races. At one point we were supposed to have a meet but it ended up getting cancelled. Sadly because of bad weather.”

The school year has been a bit different compared to other years. The main reason being that most of the school attends classes from home via zoom.

This measure was put into place to prevent a lot of in person contact to help reduce the spread of the virus. For Dawson, he doesn’t really mind.

“I actually kind of prefer online classes, so I don’t really mind,” said Dawson, “I do have one class that’s in-person and honestly that’s the one I least look forward to. I enjoy the comfort of my room as I work on school work. But I do feel for the people that have a hard time adapting to the online classes, it definitely does suck, because there are a lot of people that need that in-person interactions.”

Things look to be going back to normal as it gets closer to the end of semester. All classes will go online again after spring break, which has been pushed back to the end of April, leaving only a couple weeks left in the semester in May.

LC State looks hopefully on the future and to a normal start to the 2021 fall semester. One lesson that can be taken from a yearlong pandemic, is that you truly never know what’s going to happen in life, and I don’t think anyone would have thought this is where they would be at right now.