Statement

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The dark night sky outside filled the window of my studio apartment, but my nerves awoke me with a jolt of panic at 5 a.m. It was March 20 in Melbourne, Australia, and an anxious pit formed in my stomach as I got ready to hop on a flight to travel back to the United States.

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The first time I read about COVID-19 was over Winter Break. It was early January, and I was in Florida with my family on vacation. Iranian General Qasem Soleimani was just killed, and I was mentally preparing for war. My thoughts were running in a million different directions.

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I tug my sweatshirt sleeve over my fingers to avoid direct contact with the door handle as I walk into the Michigan Union.

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I skipped my first BlueJeans lecture to buy a pair of shoes.

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I arrived at the University of Michigan in February as a visiting Ph.D. researcher from the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom. When I departed for Ann Arbor, the spread of the novel coronavirus was not so critical as it is today.

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A few photos from my spring break trip to Ireland!

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My feet were up on the dashboard of the passenger seat in my roommate Kevin’s 2015 Subaru Forester. The sun was beginning to set as we drove back from Atlanta. We were listening to a crime podcast, an iced coffee by my side.

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As I sat on a boulder in the middle of the Saluda River in North Carolina, I raised a can of Twisted Tea to my lips. I had never tried one before, and the taste was sweet and lemony — easily mistakable for a non-alcoholic beverage.

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When I was a child, my family used to go on nighttime walks during the summer. I remember strolling along the tree-lined sidewalks of New York City, purposefully going down the least well-lit pathways so I could spot fireflies.