Spring fever at Langara delayed by virus

In-person events have been cancelled across the province

Two people walk through the empty A building at Langara. Photo: Max Leckie
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By Lucas Jornitz

Springtime is usually a time when students are keen to shake off the winter blues, spend some time outside in the sunshine and get out to socialize with their friends. With COVID-19 causing shutdowns, some students say it’s difficult to focus on wrapping up their classes and enjoying the warming weather.

Online transition for classes

A shift to online only classes has shut down the campus and emptied hallways and classrooms, with the college asking students, faculty and staff to engage in social distancing, limiting public transportation, nonessential travel and social gatherings to limit the ability of the virus to spread in the general population. 

While the college has made plans to ensure students can complete their term and graduate if they qualify, this has limited students’ access to classmates as part of their support system as the stress of final exams approaches.

Friendly habits hard to break

Sarat Kaur, a first-year health-sciences student at Langara, said it’s tough when it comes at a time when classes are winding down and people are trying to revive their social lives after a hard school year.

“It’s hard to adjust to,” said Kaur, who noted it was tough to break the habit of physical contact, such as shaking hands. “Everyone is so friendly it’s hard to change that.”

Benjamin Wood, an Asian studies instructor at Langara College, has noticed a change in his students’ attention as virus fears have spread. 

“Students are all pretty much talking about it,” he said. “It’s a big deal. It’s all over the headlines.”

Despite a shift in mood for some students, others are trying to think positively. 

“I just honestly sort of make a joke out of it, I’m trying not to think about it negativity,” said Langara student Camille Giusta, “I don’t let it bring me down at all. I just kind of laugh about it.”

According to the B.C. Centre for Disease Control there are 186 confirmed cases of COVID-19  in the province as of publication. Events of over 50 people have been cancelled across the province. On Tuesday, John Horgan announced that all K-12 classes across the province would be suspended indefinitely. 

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