I remember sitting in my journalism class at the University of New Hampshire when news of the first reported coronavirus case in the country was announced.

Emily Duggan

“We might not have class next week,” my professor said, but we were so excited to possibility have two weeks from school off.

I walked out of class that day, not knowing that it would be the last time I would see many of my classmates in person, or the last time I would walk to my car from class.

Two weeks later, after sanitizing everything in my Durham, New Hampshire, apartment, I refused to go home to Portland, too stubborn to accept the facts. As time went on, it was becoming more clear — I would not be going back to classes, or seeing friends again, until the coronavirus cleared up.

But how could I say goodbye? My four years at UNH meant the world to me. Being on my own, learning something new everyday and constantly having my friends around seemed like a dream that I didn’t want to wake up from. But soon enough, I had to.

I was still at school, in my off campus apartment, living with my best friend, while everyone around us was gone. The campus that constantly had students jay-walking across the street soon did not have anyone in sight.

I moved away in an empty parking lot, getting very much that … an empty goodbye to a place that I loved.

— Emily Duggan

***

I called my dad from my room at Boston University’s 10 Buick St. telling him to come pick me up. Time to go home.

Greg Levinsky

A far cry from the sentiment of less than 24 hours ago, when I covered a high school basketball game at the TD Garden for The Boston Globe. The Boston University Men’s Basketball team won the Patriot League Championship hours later.

I’m going to March Madness to cover BU in the tournament, I cautiously hoped.

My hopes were dashed. The pandemic canceled the NCAA Tournament. Later that day, BU students were told they needed to pack up and go home by the weekend. It was spring break at the time, but I had stayed on campus to cover the Massachusetts high school hoops tournament.

I remember conferring with my editor before games, trying to craft the right questions for the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association officials. Would the tournament be played? The Utah Jazz and Rudy Gobert just played in the TD Garden nights before. Gobert would later become the first NBA player to test positive for the virus, prompting the league to shut down.

My dad, who works at Windham High School, came to pick me up Thursday, March 12. I packed up as many of my belongings as I could and we stuffed the trunk of his Hyundai Elantra for a trip back to Maine. Initially, we were supposed to come back after two weeks.

Suffice to say, that didn’t happen.

So I finished my college classes at the dining room table of my childhood home, setting up a work station for my lectures. In the summer, my degree was mailed to my parent’s house. I just now, in March, got around to buying a frame for it.

My cap and gown remain unopened in a box stowed away in the bottom of a closet, unworn.

— Greg Levinsky


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