The coronavirus, or COVID-19, has been in the news for weeks now as the infectious disease has spread from China across the globe. As Michigan and now Kent County have reported cases, universities across the state have decided to make the switch from on-campus and in-class learning to online learning. Grand Valley State University made their announcement on March 12: 

“Grand Valley will cancel classes March 12-15. The university will convert to remote teaching beginning March 16, at least through March 29. We are taking this step for the well-being of our community and have procedures in place to support students with their courses and faculty and staff with their work. This virus demands we remain alert and make constant adjustments to our plans, and we will update our community as needed.”  

Obviously, the situation remains fluid and to be determined. GVSU is in contact with local health officials and monitors the Centers for Disease Control directives. For now, the Centers for Disease Control recommends that students return to their permanent place of residence as soon as possible. 

What To Know about COVID-19

If you decide to remain in Allendale at your Meadows Crossing townhome, here are some things you should know:

The symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, a dry cough, and difficulty breathing. Some people develop pneumonia as a complication. If you have these symptoms, you can contact Spectrum Health for a free screening. Their phone number is 616-391-2380. 

Experts are recommending social distancing as a way of slowing down the transmission of this disease. That means avoiding crowded areas or events that have more than 100 attendees. The more people voluntarily quarantine themselves, the less likely it is that COVID-19 will get a foothold in our community.

Meadows Crossings’ townhomes are individual units. Unlike apartments, they do not share any common areas, and each townhome has its own heating and cooling systems which should cut down droplet transmission of the virus. Residents can also remain in their own rooms if they want to limit their exposure to sick people. 

You should consider stocking up on food, over-the-counter medications, and other necessities. Here is a list of items to consider purchasing. There have been runs on some items like toilet paper lately. Stores are continuing to stock daily, but it’s good to have what you need on hand in case you get sick and have to quarantine yourself from others.

How To Entertain Yourself During a Quarantine

Whether you choose to simply distance yourself from others as is recommended or have to be quarantined if you become sick, you might have days or weeks to pass without going outside much. What should you do? 

The first, best thing to do is to sleep. March is a stressful time of the semester for college students, so you might need to catch up on your sleep anyway, but sleep is when your body heals itself. If you don’t get enough sleep, you will be more likely to get sick and stay sick longer. Take this opportunity to get more Zzzs

Second, spend some time with your roommates or friends if you enjoy their company. Isolation can be tough. It helps to do old-fashioned, low tech types of activities like cooking, baking, playing games or cards, or just talking to people. You will have more time to hang out with friends since classes will be online. 

Third, get some exercise. The weather is getting better, and walking or running are activities you can do that will not expose you to more germs. Spending time in nature is calming and refreshing and will help you deal with multiple types of stress

Finally, if you’ve been waiting to catch up on TV shows or movies you might have missed, this is the time. You might not want to watch all of Game of Thrones given its universally panned final season. Or, on the other hand, watching a multitude of characters battle each other to the death might help you blow off steam and put things into perspective. There are lots of movies, shows, novels, or video games you can use to while away the hours. Don’t spend all your time on screens, though. It can have a depressive effect on mood over time. 

As always, we at Meadows Crossings want to be supportive of our residents and to remain on top of what is happening both at GVSU and in Michigan. If you have any questions about how the COVID-19 outbreak might affect you as a resident here, do not hesitate to contact us. The best way to weather any kind of crisis is to remain calm and not make any decisions based on fear or panicking. We are all in this together and it will not last forever, so let’s be kind and helpful to each other as much as we can. We’ll get through this!