File #157: "Archiving My Experience_Copponi.pdf"


Isabelle Copponi
Springfield College Class of 2020
Archive Project
The COVID-19 discussion began on campus and word spread fast. Some students were
scared, while others disregarded it and acted as though Coronavirus was just another type of
influenza. I remember going to my Evidence Based Healthcare course twice a week and each
time, the number of cases in the United States went up, without stopping. I was not sure what to
believe at this point. I did not think of it as a big deal until I realized my senior year could
potentially be coming to an end earlier than I had anticipated. Some of my professors were
preparing while others were not sure what to do. Students were scared and professors were trying
everything in their power to tell us that it was going to be okay. I will never forget looking at the
numbers of confirmed cases and number of deaths worldwide growing rapidly. Those numbers
struck me each time I looked at them. I will never forget looking at the numbers and feeling like
something big was happening and there was nothing I could do to stop it. After the first few
weeks of discussing COVID-19 in my classes, I found myself trying not to listen. There was so
much misinformation surfacing and getting spread around. I knew it was in my best interest to be
prepared for the worst but hope for the best. It was the only thing I could do to keep my sanity in
My feelings were numbed for months; I did not show sadness towards having to leave
school until I had gotten home. President Cooper announced that our spring break was extended
an extra week. This is when I knew. I knew there was no way I was going to be finishing my
senior year on campus. That night we found out in the evening that spring break was extended,
and my entire room was packed up by the next morning. Taking down the decorations from my
wall hit me in a way that I could have never anticipated. Some of my roommates were much
more hopeful than me and did not pack up a single thing to go home until the moment we were
informed that we would not be coming back to campus. For me, I just knew. I knew that my

Isabelle Copponi
Springfield College Class of 2020
Archive Project
senior year was being ruined by something that I did not even know the entire premise of. All I
knew is that it was time for me to move on. As I carried my belongings out to my car, almost
every student I passed said the same thing, “you really do not think we are coming back?” and I
answered with the same, emotionless, “not at this rate.” I went home for spring break and ended
up being able to go on a trip to Jamaica. I knew this was the last time I would have freedom to be
in public with other individuals for a long time. As I returned home from my trip, that is when
everything hit me. I finally realized how impactful this virus was on the entire world. I was
scared and did not know what else to do than to break down and give up.
I have learned a large sum about myself throughout this entire experience so far. I have
learned that in times of such uncertainty, I can get through it and come out stronger than when it
began. My mindset has changed drastically over the past few months and I have become stronger
for my family. It is not every day that I have to worry about something serious or life threatening
happening to my family members. This experience has helped me and hurt me in a plethora of
ways. The most difficult thing for me has been sitting at home alone, day in and day out, while
my entire family continues to go to work. I am left at home worrying from the minute I wake up,
until the minute my family members come home from work. My mother is a home infusion
compounding pharmacist, my father is a state trooper, my brother is a firefighter at Logan
Airport, and my sister is a nurse in the NICU. Although I am proud to say that my entire family
is out there putting their own lives at risk to fight for the lives of others, I am scared. As they go
into work each day, I pray that everything goes as planned and that nothing happens to them or
the people they work with. I am unable to see my siblings during this time and it has been nearly
impossible for me. To think that I cannot even come in contact with those who have been my
biggest support systems for my entire life has crushed me both emotionally and physically. I

Isabelle Copponi
Springfield College Class of 2020
Archive Project
have to take precautions at home to keep myself safe so that my parents can remain able to go
into work. My entire life has been altered completely and I had no say in the matter.
One of the biggest things giving me joy during this pandemic has been social media and
technology. Social media has played a major role for countless individuals during this time. I
have been trying to avoid traditional news in order to diminish my risk of becoming disappointed
or being exposed to incorrect news. Using things like Instagram, FaceTime and Zoom have given
me a way to stay connected with my friends while also curating the information I hear about the
pandemic. Social media and technology have been two of the only things, for a large part of the
world, that is keeping individuals afloat. One of my closest friends at home stated that “TikToks
are not saving lives, but they are entertaining people and making people laugh.” I never thought
it would find myself saying this, but some of the only optimism being spread in the world right
now has been through social media and technology.
My aunt has recently been diagnosed with ALS. She was one of the first individuals I
thought of when I realized this is a big problem and I need to be worried. She cannot have nurses
come to her house and she cannot go to her regular doctor’s appointments. My entire family as
well as our entire community has been coming together, as best as we can, to provide support
and comfort for her. Her children have had to learn how to use intravenous medication for her as
just one of the many things they can do to help. It breaks my heart to know that all of the
individuals in the world with preexisting medical conditions do not know what each day will
bring for them.
A typical day in quarantine for me is very different from my usual days at home. I work
out and stay active in hopes of keeping my mind off of things and I do work for school. I clean
and disinfect the house for my parents so that they are able to go to work and feel safe when they

Isabelle Copponi
Springfield College Class of 2020
Archive Project
come home. I have been cooking for my family to take pressure off my full-time working
parents. As much as it has been slow and relaxing at home, I have not stopped doing work since
leaving school. Some of my professors increased the course workload making it incredibly hard
for me to complete my degree and be there for my family. That is one of the biggest things I miss
about being on campus. Being able to go my office hours and get advice from my professors
whenever I need it. Emailing back and forth is very different from going to Locklin Hall to get
assistance on my assignments. As a student living with a disability that largely impacts my
academic work, having the resources available on campus was always something I was
incredibly grateful for. I do not think that I took these resources for granted, but I can say with
complete confidence that I missed having them during the last few months of my senior year.
Online learning was different and I truly missed being in a classroom setting, but I am proud to
say I managed to finish college under such unprecedented circumstances.
I feel as though I am cultivating a large amount of resilience through this experience. It
has been hard for me to stay hopeful and optimistic, but I know that my ability to recover and be
strong for my family has grown drastically. I have learned how to become more independent and
reliable at any moment. Each day, there is a new task for me to complete in order to keep my
family safe. No matter if it is something big or something small, I get it done and try to keep an
optimistic attitude. The real test of my resilience has yet to come. I am curious to see how I come
back from this pandemic once it is all over. It will be hard for me to return to my normal ways
once the world is opened back up, but I am hopeful that eventually I will be able to return to my
pre-pandemic self at some point.
There have been so many impressive as well as disappointing responses to the pandemic
over the past few months. I have been impressed, to an outstanding degree, by the way the entire

Isabelle Copponi
Springfield College Class of 2020
Archive Project
Springfield College Senior class has come together to support each other during this time. I have
gotten supportive remarks from some of my classmates that I have never even spoken to in
person. The class of 2020 has become stronger than any other graduating class I have ever seen.
This is not because of Coronavirus itself, but rather due to the way we reacted and the way I
know we will come back from it. The night before we left campus was something I will never
forget. We held a “senior day” for all of the spring senior athletes that were unable to have their
own traditional senior day. We laughed, we cried, we danced and we hugged all night until the
sun came up. This response to bad news was an experience that I know will be unmatched for the
rest of my life.
In terms of disappointing responses to this pandemic, the one that has stuck out to me the
most is the individuals in the world that feel as though they do not have to follow the guidelines
put in place by the CDC. It saddens me to know that there are individuals out there that are still
taking this too lightly. If I could show those individuals one thing, it would be the pictures of my
family members, at work, covered head to toe with uncomfortable protective gear so as to keep
themselves safe while saving the lives of others. Even if you are not experiencing the virus
firsthand, it is important to be cognizant of the fact that this is a real problem and the only true
way to combat it is to follow instructions and guidelines put in place by the government and the
There are many fears that have been running through my mind over the course of this
pandemic. One that has been scaring me the most is what life is going to look like for the few
years following Coronavirus. I planned to take a year off after college to get a job and then go to
graduate school. Although my plan has remained the same, it has become much more difficult to
follow through with it. Finding a job has been nearly impossible. On top of this, studying to get

Isabelle Copponi
Springfield College Class of 2020
Archive Project
into graduate school looks very different. There are far less resources for students to utilize. I
have finally accepted the fact that I have completed my courses and graduated college in the
same home that I started preschool in, and I will most likely be studying and applying to
graduate school from home as well. The community has been forced to adapt to the current state
of the world at a rapid pace, something that not everyone is accustomed to, but also something
we have been forced to do. I have realized that my fears are different from those of others but
everyone’s fears are justifiable. No one should be thinking that they are not allowed to be scared
because someone else may have it much worse than them. We are going through this together
and we will remain hopeful together. My greatest hopes for the future begin right now. I hope
that individuals do not give up. I hope that we remain connected and bond in a way that we have
never bonded before. It is us against one single virus. I want individuals, worldwide, to know
that we can come back from the current situation we are in.
In the near future, I predict that the world with be unable to completely return to life prepandemic. Individuals will remain scared and worried that something bad is going to happen
again. Businesses will be impacted while employees will continue to lose their jobs. On the other
hand, I feel as though we will continue to come together as a community and stay connected. In
the long-term, I predict that the world will create a new norm for a while. Life might not be the
exact same as it was before the Coronavirus outbreak, but it will begin to feel more normal as the
days go on.
If the Coronavirus pandemic could teach the world one thing it would be to open your
eyes and see the underlying problems that are surfacing due to the pandemic. There are so many
problems in this country that many individuals would not be privy to if it were not for
Coronavirus. The individuals and families that are being immensely impacted are the ones that

Isabelle Copponi
Springfield College Class of 2020
Archive Project
were struggling the most before this pandemic hit. Keep an optimistic attitude, follow
instructions carefully, and remember that we will get through this. Each day will come and go
with new challenges to face and new problems to fix. This is just one experience, out of so many,
that will make the world stronger and better prepared for what is to come in the future.
Photos of my family at work during COVID-19: