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Junior returned to Seattle early on, not sure about return to school

Lincoln Badley ’21 works on some homework in the office in his parents home. Badley returned to Seattle from a spring break trip on the east coast on Mar 14 instead of Nebraska amid concerns that school would shutdown due to the virus.

Before most students had started thinking about the possibility of learning at home due to a global pandemic, Lincoln Badley ‘21 was already worrying about it. Before school had officially been cancelled, he already made plans to fly back to his hometown, Everett, Washington.

“I was in Boston when my mom asked me if I wanted to go home, and I had just been in NYC where it was getting bad, so I was already on edge,” he said. “It was only the second Saturday of spring break, and I said yes because I thought it would close school for a while.”

Returning to the original epicenter of the disease means that Badley had to deal with a heavy array of restrictions. While Washington once held the first and largest number of confirmed cases, the New York metro has since far surpassed it.

“Everything is closed; I haven’t seen friends my whole time being here,” he said. “I don’t mind it because it has allowed me time to relax, but I miss being in the dorms with my eccentric roommates.”

While the time difference might seem like a challenge to most students, Badley adjusted well to online classes. Living in the Pacific time zone meant that his school day starts at 5:55 sharp.

“So far it has been good to be in the rhythm of waking up early because my family is asleep and I have the house to myself,” Badley said. “Black coffee and cereal keep me grinding.”

Not just affected by online schooling, Badley also has a personal connection to the virus. His father, Wally Badley, currently works in the Providence Regional Medical Center, where patients are being treated for the virus.

“I manage a data analytics team, so it has been interesting seeing firsthand information about the community and hospital where COVID-19 hit first in the US,” he said. “The disheartening deaths from this virus affect everyone in the hospital whose job it is to prevent them.”

Wally, along with all the other employees of the hospital, are doing what they can to steer clear of the virus and to stop its spread by following precautionary measures put in place by the hospital administration.

“The patients at the hospital who are infected are put into negative airflow rooms on one end of the hospital, so I don’t interact with them too much,” he said. “Every morning, we have to get our temperatures taken before entering work. Other than that, hand washing is thoroughly emphasized, but I think that healthcare workers have always focused on that sort of thing anyway.”

With the difficult circumstances and potential risk of exposure to the virus, Lincoln remains unsure about the possibility of returning to campus for his senior year.

“In Washington, the ‘curve’ of new confirmed cases is flattening, and experts think other areas will follow in the next few weeks,” he said. “I believe Mount Michael will be open, but my future at the Mount is just as uncertain as the future of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

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