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In the starting of every year, all of us have resolutions; for some of us it might be as simple as reading a page of a book once every week or going to the gym 6-7 days a week (okay that's an exaggeration but you get it!). Sometimes there are situations that cause a delay to our resolutions, but during those times it’s very important that we stay focused and get back to our resolutions as soon as we are able to. It's also true that some obstacles are harder than the others, and while we can control and overcome some, there are others that are out of our control. When things are out of control that's when it hurts the most, because it changes so much about the way we live our life, our daily routine, and many more things. One of the current situations happening around the world is COVID-19, also known as coronavirus. This virus has impacted all of us in one way or the other, but we must understand that this is serious. It is very important for us to realize it and do everything we can to stop the spread of the virus. In this blog I would like to give my opinion on what I thought about the coronavirus before it became a pandemic and some of the serious measures I have taken to be more careful. Because it's very important that we put our health over all (I mean what is a life without a healthy mind and body?).

Initial reaction to COVID-19

Honestly, when I first heard about the virus going viral in China, I didn’t pay much attention to it. Just like many of my friends, I thought it was not that serious and that China would control it fast before the start of summer. I also thought that it would not spread and reach all these countries that it currently has. I am pretty sure that most of us didn't think it would become a pandemic. But now that it has, it's very important that we realize the importance of paying attention to every detail recommended by the World Health Organization about COVID-19. 

What did I do to stay safe?

First of all, I am a big workout freak, and now more than ever is the time I need to be mentally, emotionally, and physically focused. I have been working out for almost 3 years now, and in all these three years the only time I had to stay at home from the gym for more than 3 days was when I had tendonitis in my elbow. Before the injury, I worked out 6 days a week, and I went right back to that schedule after recovering. So to me it was a stress reliever — every time I felt something was going wrong, I ended up going to the gym. Believe me, a 15-20 minute workout after a stressful day can make a huge difference for the rest of the day. So as the gyms closed, classes went online for the semester, and the graduation ceremony was cancelled, it was more important than ever that I needed to be able to keep myself together. What is most important is to make sure I am healthy and taking the pandemic seriously. Although some people tried to continue their routines by finding a gym that was open, I tried to take the safer step by starting home workouts. Every day I workout at home I feel good. Another thing is that I am not really a person who would be at home all day, but upon realizing the seriousness of this pandemic, I have learned to stay home; and I highly encourage others to stay at home for their own safety and the safety of the others. You can keep yourself busy by finishing up homework or doing homework in advance, as well as playing stuff online with friends. The point is you can do a lot of things while you are at home. You are not just restricted to watching Netflix all day.

In addition to the workouts, I am really glad I have the International Office at St. Ambrose University to keep all of us together in these hard times. Sumita Amrik and Catherine Toohey have been a huge support to all the international students who are scared and worried during this time. It's important, now more than ever, that we keep calm and not panic because by panicking it will just make the situation a lot worse. Just remember the CDC steps to prevent illness: wash your hands often, be healthy, drink lots of water, and stay home for the safety of your loved ones and for the safety of yourself. 

Aweys Ahmed Aweys of Somalia, is studying finance and marketing at St.Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa.