VOICES: The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Edinboro community

Category:  Opinions
Wednesday, August 26th, 2020 at 2:09 PM

Anyone who visits the borough of Edinboro can sense the tight knit community feel. Despite the ever-changing faces around town, with students coming and going year after year, the community is welcoming and kind. Once the COVID-19 pandemic reached its boiling point, things had to close, people had to quarantine, and those feelings of unity and togetherness were tested in a way they hadn’t been before.  

Desperate times can bring people together or drive them apart. Both students and community members felt the impacts on both ends of the spectrum, not only in town but on the campus, as well. Brian LeFevre, a resident of the borough for four years and employee at The Empty Keg, said he felt the pandemic “brought people closer together.” Part of this, in his mind, is because “it seems like everyone understands what each other are going through.”  

 LeFevre was also encouraged to see people working together to help those who have suffered financially in the wake of COVID-19.  

 “It’s just nice to see people care about each other,” he said.  

Students also reflected on how they think COVID-19 has affected the Edinboro community. Zaida Pring, a sophomore living in an apartment off campus noticed “there are a lot less people around” town and in stores.  

Charisma Ferringer, a freshman living on campus with lab courses that must be completed in-person, feels that sense of community even though it's her first year in the borough. She feels welcome and safe from the pandemic, despite the obvious lack of social interaction she has with the community as a whole.

In fact, both students and members of the community said they feel safe being out and about. Even a community member who wished to remain anonymous, and who deals with health issues and a weakened immune system, is not worried about contracting the virus.  

It seems that even though there are a number of new people in the area because of the students moving back into town, people do not seem concerned that there will be a significant spike in cases. Despite the threat of parties, which Ferringer attributes to “people who don’t care,” those interviewed are comfortable with the measures in place to protect individuals and the community at large.  

However, when asked if they would’ve felt just as safe had all students been allowed back to live on campus (instead of the 175 it’s currently limited to), it was a different story. LeFevre said he would have felt “absolutely worried if all students were allowed back.”  

Ferringer was eager to get into her residence hall, stating that she: “would want to live on campus no matter what. It's the new chapter of [my] life, I want to feel like I started it.”  

Despite some optimistic feelings, it's also important to remember what LeFevre pointed out, “It could take years for people to recover everything they’ve lost.”  

 Ferringer, meanwhile, may have said it best as she “hopes to feel more of this [support and closeness of the community] in the years to come.” 

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