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Observer Editorial: We’re still here

| Friday, March 20, 2020

While the week following spring break is usually a time of chaos and commotion for the tri-campus community, things are different this year.

North and South Quads, once packed with students soaking up the sun on South Bend’s rare warm days, are eerie without the sound of Big Bootie Mix coming from a speaker in the window of Zahm House. A space typically full of students sharing stories and laughing over homework, Reignbeaux Lounge in Le Mans is not the social center it once was. No one orders coffee or pastries at Ave Brew Cafe, and the Max sits empty as Holy Cross students have fled campus.

As the tri-campus community has gone remote for the rest of the semester due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we could have a variety of responses: worry for the vulnerable people in our lives and communities, disappointment with the cancellation of anticipated events and activities — especially for seniors — and sadness at the prospect of missing our friends and home for the rest of the semester and possibly the summer. These reactions, and countless more, are natural responses to events such as this, disrupting the plans we had so carefully laid out for our futures.

Nevertheless, this is not the time to give up, nor accept defeat. These are unprecedented times, and unpredictability can cause unwanted anxiety and a general sense of feeling unmoored. Despite this, it is not the time to desert one another, but rather to come together.

For the rest of the semester, there will not be a physical paper to pick up on your way to class or during a meal in the dining hall. Regardless, The Observer will still be here — publishing online five days a week, putting out articles, letters, columns and reviews in order to continue serving the members of the tri-campus community. The importance of journalism can be realized now more than ever. We remain committed to uncovering the truth and reporting it accurately — no matter where we all may be.

News will continue bringing you the latest updates about COVID-19 and the response to the pandemic, as well as other stories from the tri-campus community during this time.

Sports will continue to put out Sports Authorities, break down recruiting, preview next season’s athletics and feature senior athletes from spring sports that were canceled, giving deserved recognition for their years of dedication and perseverance.

Scene will publish reviews and recommendations for things to watch, listen to and read during this time which may otherwise be filled with boredom and perhaps too much family togetherness.

Viewpoint will continue to publish columns and Letters to the Editor because campus dialogue does not only exist when we are physically there.

Photo and Graphics will be here to provide visual aspects for stories, chronicling weird and wonderful moments in the new life we’re living.

Social Media will be connecting people while in-person social distancing is necessary to preserve our physical health. Being online is helping us stay in contact with friends and family — and reminds us that we are less alone than we may feel.

If you have thoughts about any subject, pandemic-related or otherwise, send us a Letter to the Editor; all sides of a story are welcome. If you or someone you know has an interesting story, send us an email. We’d love to help you tell your story.

We understand this is a scary time — one filled with, at best, a massive disturbance to your college experience and, at worst, a health crisis. It’s important to remember that in a time where so much seems out of our control, there are things we can do to better the situation.

Wash your hands, and stay home unless absolutely necessary. Look out for those around you, especially loved ones in vulnerable populations. Take care of your mental health. Log off Twitter every once in a while. FaceTime a friend. Check in on your grandparents. Remember this too shall pass. But, for now, it is up to us to be responsible, practice social distancing and do what we can to flatten the curve.

Most importantly, don’t let the fact that we aren’t in South Bend diminish the spirit and values of our institutions. Near and far, we are still the Irish, Belles and Saints. Though we may not physically be on campus, we are still a community — The Observer hopes to remind you of that.

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