Like thousands of students, I have suffered in silence since last March. I no longer count the days or I spend more than 10 hours alone in front of my computer screen. My teachers have become computer screens and web pages while my classmates are simple zoom labels.
Rest assured, I am neither a conspirator nor a covidosceptic. I believe in the virus and in its consequences. This is not a questioning of the danger of the virus nor of the measures put in place, but a reminder that yes, we university students are still alive and for a large part of us, we suffer in silence behind our screen.
The government is going out of its way to keep certain things open. It is even announced today that children will be able to spend Halloween. By the way today, October 15, we can’t even be 2 in a park, but on the evening of the 31st thousands of children and their parents in the streets would that be correct? Let’s be honest, the distancing measures risk being violated on the 31st and everyone knows it.
When I see the CAQ government fighting to give small victories to certain groups, I have a little pang in my heart every time. Because since March, there has been no victory for us Montreal university students. What we repeat to reassure ourselves: you have no choice but to stay at home to save others from this damn virus.
The government and the universities are not pushing themselves too hard. They count on our docility and our good understanding. How many of us would like the Minister of Higher Education to ask us students how things are going! Is there anything we can do for you? Do you have any suggestions? It’s radio silence. People are not preoccupied with the fact that we have no social interaction as our day to day is limited between us and our computer screen. Since we were 5 years old, we have heard all the specialists tell us, not staying too much in front of the screen is not good!
The psychological impact there is! Maybe we don’t talk about it for fear of being judged, because mental health in 2020 is still taboo. Still, I don’t think I’m the only one who needs to reassure myself in the face of developed anxiety and sometimes to want to give up everything. To feel lonely all week and to miss the simple fact of waiting for the bus outside at -40 for an 8am class.
Would it be so complicated to do smaller classes? Extend opening hours to allow for smaller classes? Use our parks to teach lessons? At least give the option to those they want? At least the CAQ is interested in us! Give us a sign of life and tell us we haven’t forgotten you!
We at least deserve to hear from us! Because right now we feel left out. We connect everyone to zoom and end of the discussion. This is what is a shame. I’m not saying to reopen the schools, but I believe that we can be more creative than the coldness of online lessons. We should be able to talk to each other and come up with an idea to help us overcome psychological challenges!