Photo by Ellen Gerst / Gavel Media

Letter from the Editor

The last two months feel like something out of a dream. Or, perhaps more appropriately, something out of a nightmare.

Coronavirus has swept around the globe, directly affecting millions of people and keeping millions more shut inside their homes in quarantine. The time in which we are currently living is as unprecedented as anything we have ever experienced. This Coronavirus pandemic is, without a doubt, unlike anything the world has gone through in at least a century. 

The days of living with my friends, eating lunch in Eagles’ Nest every day, and spending altogether too many hours in the Gavel office in the basement of Mac feel like a distant memory. I long to live in a world free of the daily stress, anxiety, and physical and emotional strain of a national quarantine. These days, it feels all too easy to go through life without hope. But I think this virus has taught us a lot about ourselves. As individuals, as a Boston College community, and as a society, things are never going to be quite the same.

Like most aspects of normal life, our plans for The Gavel this semester shifted drastically once the country was sent into lockdown. With very few students left on campus and our staff spread out across the globe, moving forward with our typical print magazine was no longer an option. Instead, we have decided to devote this special edition to amplify the stories of how our Boston College community was affected when COVID-19 arrived on America’s doorstep. And although we are physically separated, because of the hard work and creativity of many Gavel staff members and editors, we are able to carry on our mission of providing a platform and a voice to lift up these important stories for our campus community. I believe the stories inside demonstrate our collective resilience and strength. 

Five Days is meant to be a snapshot of life at Boston College in between the afternoon of Wednesday, March 11th—the time that the student body first found out about the transition to online learning—and Sunday, March 15th, the day that on-campus dormitories officially closed. Those five days were a moment of incredible transition not only for the BC community, but for the entire world. Our campus was turned upside down as students tried to make sense of the reality of what was happening around them. We’ve dedicated this issue to documenting what happened during those last five days, highlighting stories from the Class of 2020 in particular. To those graduating seniors who had their college careers cut short: We love you. This is for you. 

Every week, my parents, my sister, and I have a Zoom call with some of our closest family friends. And every week, everybody on that Zoom call has to go around and answer some kind of question about a positive aspect of their lives during quarantine. Whether it be something we have learned, something we are grateful for, or something we are looking forward to, answering that question always gets us talking about hopeful stories. And for me, that has been a breath of fresh air. Coronavirus has dominated all areas of our lives. What else is there to talk about? Talking nonstop about Coronavirus, “COVID-19,” “the virus,” “rona,” or whatever you might name it, has become unavoidable. In a time filled with such negativity, we owe it to ourselves to take the time to be hopeful. And there are plenty of stories of hope out there. 

When this is all over, don’t forget the lessons we have learned. Remember to thank doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers who are putting their lives on the line to get us through this. Lift up the essential workers who make sure society can keep functioning. 

Take care of yourselves. Take care of one another. One day soon, we’ll all get back to walks around the Res, tailgates outside Alumni, late nights in O’Neill, and later nights in the Mods. I can’t wait until the day when we can all step foot back on campus. Until then, stay safe.

This article was originally released in May, 2020 as part of our special print edition, “Five Days,” one, final, tribute to the seniors of the Class of 2020.  If you would like to view the magazine in its entirety, you can find the entire digital edition published here

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Patrick Carpenter