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  • Writer's pictureJermaine Thomas, II

"How's Quarantine Treating Ya?"

Now an age-old question that has rocked my world since March 11th. And the answer is, “alright”. I have surprised myself with the way I’ve been handling this situation. It was extremely distressing to wake up every day as COVID-19 ravaged my final semester at Miami University. At some points, I had no idea how I was going to handle the grief from the laundry list of canceled events that I had been preparing for varying amounts of time. Graduation, for example, had been on my mind since August 2016 when I exited Havighurst Hall, on my way to my first Miami University class, to MUF&D's 14th Annual Fashion show, which we began planning in May of 2019.

I had never seen destruction take place so painstakingly slow. It was surreal. In the beginning, I was over the moon at the thought of remote instruction for a short time of two weeks. Then those two weeks became the whole semester and the downward spiral began, and life as we knew it began to change completely. Classes were held online, chairs were placed on tabletops as restaurants became take-out only, events were being canceled left and right as COVID-19 traveled across the country at an alarming rate.

The first rescheduled “last” I had to face was with the Miami University Gospel Singers (MUGS). The day after we received the news of Miami U. moving to remote instruction for the remainder of the semester, as well as canceling all in-person events, MUGS had one final performance scheduled at our director’s home church in Cincinnati. And this was yet another time God put me right where I needed to be. It was that service that allowed me to find an unshakable level of peace that reminded me that the situation was out of my hands.

Adjusting to spending more time at home over the last ~5 months than I had during the entirety of my college career has been quite the learning curve, but I’m secretly enjoying it. It’s been refreshing, to say the least. My world was spinning at breakneck speed, and it’s been a blessing to use this time to come back to myself. I have never been so intuned with my soul and it’s inner thoughts as I have during this crisis. I am extremely thankful for the chance to return to some form of balance.

When life returns to whatever new normal we land in, I am so glad to say that I will be refreshed and without a doubt walking with a renewed vision, and values that will guide my interactions and decisions on a daily basis. I truly believe that without pain, joy doesn’t feel as good. Let yourself feel the darkness so that the light is that much brighter when you make it there.

Matthew 11: 28-30

28 Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

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