The GoGlobal Blog

Month: March 2022

Abroad During a Pandemic and War

Abroad During a Pandemic and War


I had been doing so well for 2 years, but I finally caught Covid-19. I am thankful in a way that I got it now because I am fully vaccinated with a booster, meaning that my symptoms have been all but nonexistent, and most importantly I didn’t spread it to any of my friends. I also was not traveling this weekend that I was stuck in quarantine since it was the weekend before midterms. No traveling or money was lost out on! That’s always a benefit.

I have been in quarantine since last Monday, February 21, when I got my test result back. I was in Paris that weekend visiting my roommate from last semester, and I caught it in France because when I came back to campus and did the mandatory testing for going out of the country, that’s when we found out. So, I’ve been in a little room by myself ever since. I am actually going on almost 9 days– I tested yesterday (Monday) after the mandatory 7 days and was still positive to my dismay. My friends and the resident life faculty have been really nice to me since I’ve been in here, friends have gotten me groceries, my roommate has brought me a ton of things that I forgot, and one of the Res Life people, Simone (who we all love here), even bought me a crepe yesterday because he felt bad that I was still positive.

Still, it’s been difficult. I’ve missed being outside and being with my friends, and it has been hard to focus and get a lot done. Considering that it is midterms week, my lack of motivation has not been ideal at all. It doesn’t feel good either, because, in theory, I have so much time, but I simply cannot force myself to do what I need to. I usually am one that needs a change of scenery, some physical exercise, and a good amount of coffee to be productive when I’m in a slump, and I have access to none of that here.

Nonetheless, I’m trying to do the best I can with what I have. When I tested positive, the nurse told me that I was “almost there,” so hopefully I will be okay tomorrow when I test again. If not, I have no idea what I will do! So I’m just trying to think positively for now. I will hopefully be negative, in person for my midterm exams, and on a plane to Spain for my spring break trip on Thursday night. Maybe putting it into writing will help it happen.


The Russia-Ukraine Situation

I have gotten a lot of texts from friends and family making sure that I am safe, and wondering if I will be sent home. Not that long ago, I was wondering the same thing myself. I was not very educated on the relations between Russia and Ukraine, besides the fact that Ukraine used to be a part of the Soviet Union. Since then, I have become much more educated, and I feel that it is my responsibility to.

The irony of being in Europe for this situation is not lost on me, it feels very fitting for someone who graduated in 2020, was told I wasn’t allowed on campus until 2021 and had to change their study abroad location many times over due to Covid. That being said, I do not at all intend to make this situation about me. I have been seeing a lot of discourse about how people in the West, Americans my age, in particular, are making this horrible situation about themselves, saying that “they’re going to be drafted into World War 3,” and that they’re “tired of living through historical events.” I do not intend to be one of these people. The fact of the matter is that we are bystanders to this horrible event, even me and my peers, who are in Europe as it is happening.

What I do know is this:

  • We (myself and the students here in Rome) are not being sent home early, and unless something truly terrible and unexpected happens, we will not be leaving until May as scheduled.
  • We are not in danger. The fighting has been in Ukraine and Ukraine only, and it is highly unlikely that Russia would expand fighting to other countries, given that Ukraine is surrounded by NATO countries, and this would *actually* trigger WWIII.
    • We are not in danger to the extent that we have not been limited in traveling for Spring break besides going to Ukraine. We’ve been warned about potential dangers or complications in the instance that we were traveling to countries accepting refugees such as Poland or Hungary, but that is all.
  • I need to be more proactive about keeping up with world news.

I have been educating myself on the history of the relationship between Ukraine and Russia, as well as looking into ways to support Ukrainians during this time. Donating to grass-root organizations in Ukraine has been one of the most useful things I have found that I can do. Second to this is to not spread misinformation, and do what I can to suppress the “American” in me by not making this about myself, because the truth is, it doesn’t involve me at all and I am extremely privileged for that.

All in all, though, I am safe, the program will not be cut short, and I am doing my part to advocate against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and to support the Ukrainians where it is needed.


On a lighter note, I’ll be posting an update about my most recent travels soon, as well as where I am headed for Spring Break (pending I test negative tomorrow– wish me luck!).