Columns, Opinion

Blogs from a quarantined college student: Week one

Tuesday: March 17th, 2020

Hello friends 🙂

I never really saw myself as a writer, as much as I love literature and reading, yet here I am. Writing. For the newspaper. This was NOT part of my job description.

My name is Maddy Harrison and I am the multimedia editor for the UCM Muleskinner (that sounds like the first sentence of every work email I’ve ever sent). Mainly my job is to handle all media content at the Muleskinner, such as designing our recent tab or creating video packages. It’s a pretty great job overall, so it’s pretty disheartening that COVID-19 took it away.

Schools across the country are closing, and UCM is one of them. So now I’m back home, away from my job and lovely Adobe Creative Cloud (alas, how I miss you) and trying to get used to the idea of completely online classes. Unlike many of our journalists, my job requires me to be on campus, which is something that doesn’t make sense for me right now. Luckily, my work allows me some amazing flexibility and now I am engaging in my next project!

Starting today, I will be keeping a log of what this shift in life- online classes, newfound free time, and the coronavirus pandemic- is like. I know already that my planner and laptop will become two of my closest friends.

I hope as I document this crazy time, some of you reading this will relate and enjoy following along with me (who knows, we might even learn a thing or two).

-Maddy Harrison 🙂


Wednesday: March 18th, 2020

Self-quarantine list

There’s not much to talk about today (shocker), but here’s a little update:

Today, I have made a list of all the things I can and probably will do in my ridiculous amount of free time. There are a lot of things to do written down— I’ll attach a picture so you all might have ideas of things you can do while you’re trying to stay healthy, too!


Here’s how I’ll be spending my time! Maybe you’ll take some ideas from me 🙂

Until tomorrow!

-Maddy 🙂


Friday: March 20th, 2020

Well-being update

I didn’t get to writing yesterday since my sisters and I kept ourselves pretty busy. We have been trying to keep ourselves occupied since the quarantining started so we don’t go crazy, but I can tell that we seriously want to go out and DO something.

I’m generally not a super social person, but now that my opportunity to be social and hang out with friends is gone, I know I took that ability for granted. At the very least, I can FaceTime family and friends from my computer and always text them.

I was able to cross two tasks off my list today! My sisters and I made about fifty cards from nursing homes and rehab facilities in our community. We know that it has been difficult for the elderly and their families during this time, so we thought maybe it would help lift some of their spirits. We’re planning to make about fifty more next week.

We (mostly my older sister) also made cookies for all the nurses that have to work and put themselves at risk every day. Hopefully, the small gesture helped them feel appreciated during all this as well.

Anyways, I’m hoping this weekend helps me feel a little less antsy (I’m not sure how, but fingers crossed!)

-Maddy 😛


Saturday: March 21st, 2020

Nurses, doctors, and the like

Today is not going to be a normal entry (and it will be a bit longer). Today, I’m not going to talk about myself, but rather some people that deserve some recognition.

As the daughter of an ER nurse, I’m privy to some more information about hospital life that you wouldn’t typically hear. For the most part, it’s something weird, gross, or funny that happened at work, or my mom just filling us in on her day to day life.

She works as part of the leadership at Centerpoint Medical Center in Independence, Missouri. She’s worked in their ER for years now and I know she loves her job and what she does for the community. Coronavirus, however, has made all medical jobs extremely complicated.

From what I know, supplies in hospitals are going quickly. That’s probably common knowledge at this point, but it’s a very serious issue. We should try to give some of our resources to nurses and healthcare practitioners in our communities. I do know that some people are trying to help by making homemade masks, which is really generous and sweet.

Also, be kind to all the medical staff you see if you’re still out and about. I think it’s safe to say that some people are under the impression that all medical personnel are now carriers and are going to pass the virus on to the general public. As much as this is a possibility, they don’t have a choice. It’s their job to help treat the sick and needy to the best of their ability.

There’s a lot we can do to help them. Firstly, you can STAY INSIDE. I cannot stress that enough. If everyone just self-quarantined for about three weeks and tried to flatten the curve, COVID-19 would get better.

If you’re so inclined to continue going about your day to day activities, however, you can at least send food or supplies to hospitals in your community. The fact of the matter is, we’re all in this together (cue “High School Musical.”) 

If we want to protect the elderly, immunocompromised, and people with respiratory ailments, we each need to do our part. Stock up on some food you may need (that does not mean hoarding food you will not possibly eat) and hold up in your home for a little while.

Just be smart and safe, people.



Sunday: March 22nd, 2020


So as many of probably know, the mayor of Kansas City declared a “Stay At Home” order yesterday. At first, it terrified me. I’ve thought about it more, however, and I feel a little better.

Sure, there’s a lot of bad right now. This virus has changed our entire lifestyle: from health to school, to social life, to how we see others. Everything is different and scary right now. But there’s also a lot of good right now.

I’m not saying COVID-19 is a good thing, don’t get me wrong. Instead of focusing on the scary and bad, I’ve just chosen to look more at the good and positive.

Good is a lot of things. It’s my mother’s coworker who bought us some supplies when we couldn’t find any. It’s the people sewing masks for nurses that are running out of supplies. It’s that businesses are still trying to help their employees despite the fact that they had to close their doors. It’s the fact that my family (my large extended family) is healthy, safe, and looking out for each other. It’s the way the environment is almost coming back alive again.

There’s so much good to see if you just look. Life is scary. I get that. But fixating on every bad little detail is only going to make it worse.

So I implore you to try to find some good things today to make you smile and step away from all the scariness. If you need a little boost, go look up the article about the Chinese elephants that got drunk and passed out in a garden (it’s worth it, trust me). Here’s a link, check it out!




These are great!! Interesting, lighthearted, and funny! Looking forward to reading more.

Sindi Snow

I loved reading your blog.
What you said about people helping people is true. I have seen more people smile at each other through all this than before. I have thanked those that restock shelves and the check out personnel as well. I know that they are tired. I have thanked the coworkers at the hospital I work at. They have kept things clean and the cafeteria personnel have kept food coming for the staff and patients. I have thanked nurses for their tireless, unselfish work. We all need to appreciate each other during this time.
I am hoping that everyone (including you Maddy) is getting more things crossed off their to do list. All those things that you have meant to do and never seem to have the time to.
Please do as the officials have recommended – social distancing or stay at home, and soon things can go back to normal or whatever our new normal looks like.


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