Reflection on COVID-19: Zoltan Panyi

I was finishing my team lift at North Campus when our trainer told us there was an announcement he needed to make. I thought it was kind of odd that for half of the lift Coach Faug was not there for half of the lift because he would never miss a lift unless it was for something important. When Coach Faug came back, he announced that we were going to have an early spring break this year. Never in my lifetime did I think that a virus would make me evacuate from my school and go home.

At the time all of us were very excited about an early spring break. I think we were all itching to go home. That changed very quickly because after that first week of “spring break” things started changing drastically. What we thought was going to be a fun two weeks with friends back home became a not so fun quarantine period where everyone was forced to stay at home.

I never thought the virus would come to the state of Maine, where I currently live, just because there aren’t a lot of people here. I thought we were going to have maybe a couple of cases of coronavirus at most and it would blow over. I was wrong.

That thought changed fast when I saw our governor on the news announcing a state of emergency and that everyone will be on lock-down until the end of the month. When March came to an end, the lockdown was lengthened for another month. I never thought coming home was going to be the worst thing that could have happened. Every day I miss being back at the University, seeing my friends and the football team. I never thought I would say I miss being in the classroom, but this online schooling can get old really quick.

Recently, I have found myself waking up every day trying to better myself in school, trying a new diet, and continuing to exercise and not lose all of the progress I made lifting the past two months. Every now and then I start to feel the boredom come onto me here in my room, and I like to take a drive to clear my head and get some fresh air. Overall, I didn’t think I would find myself watching Contagion with Matt Damon and we’d end up living in this scenario right now in real life. I hope that in the next coming month or two, COVID-19 will settle down and allow us to have the summer we all want and need, and eventually allow me to return to school and football.

The worst part of COVID-19, though, is the fact that my entire family lives an ocean away. With my dad moving back to Hungary, all I have left back home here in the U.S is my mom. I usually visit my relatives in Hungary every summer,but as a result of this pandemic, I do not see that happening this year. I will miss seeing my two grandmothers and the rest of my family. I am now trying to make up for lost time because I know my family back home misses me just as much as I miss them. This pandemic has taken a lot from me.

Zoltan Panyi, ‘23, is a National Security Major at the University of New Haven from Old Orchard Beach, Maine. This piece is part of the “Caught in the Pandemic” project in collaboration with the Principles of Communication course taught by Health Administration and Policy Professor, Alvin Tran, ScD, MPH.