Photo from the CDC
The COVID-19 outbreak creeps its way through Louisiana, even impacting several members of the Loyola community.
On March 5, mass communication seniors Anum Siddiqui and Erin Snodgrass joined Laura Jayne, the Director of Student Services for the College of Music and Media, at the NICAR Conference downtown.
However, days later they found out they interacted with someone who now tests positive for the coronavirus.
Although they don’t show any signs of illness, they now wait in their homes in self isolation until March 19.
“I’m healthy, the students are healthy,” Jayne said. “I certainly didn’t think we were in danger at the conference.”
They now have to report temperature changes and potential symptoms to the Louisiana Department of Health while their loved ones take care of them.
“My mom is freaking out,” Siddiqui said. “She bleached all the stuff in my room.”
Siddiqui remains cooped up in her room, away from her parents and younger sibling.
Snodgrass’ family members live more than 2,500 miles away in Seattle, Washington, where the total coronavirus cases sit close to 400.
However, her roommates continue to provide their support but that doesn’t stop her parents from stressing about their daughter.
“Once they got over the shock of it, they pointed out its pretty ironic that I was so concerned about them and yet I’m the one here,” Snodgrass said.
The isolation kept Snodgrass away from her Editor-in-Chief duties with the school’s newspaper, The Maroon. It forced the outlet to scrap their weekly print edition and focus only on online content.
“I love working for The Maroon and I love getting to interact with my staff,” she said. “It was really hard to kind of take a backseat.”
Both seniors also reflect on the fact that March 10 could be their final day on Loyola’s campus as an undergrad as the school pushes classes to online only in order to prevent the potential spread of COVID-19.
“Our journalism class is like a family,” Siddiqui said. “We are not going to work together anymore and put on a newscast anymore. That breaks my heart.”
The duo hope the outbreak does not impact future events, like graduation.
“I’m definitely disappointed,” Snodgrass said. “There were a lot of things that I had left to do. I guess that’s a good lesson in not waiting to do those things.”
Siddiqui says a graduation ceremony means a lot to her and her loved ones.
“I’m the first in my family to get a college degree,” she said. “I’m just hoping we get a graduation. That’s going to mean a lot to me.”