In Creighton Connections, we speak with students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends about their experiences living in the new normal. All interviews are, of course, conducted over the phone or online.
Check out the Creighton Connections archive to see how other Bluejays are adapting to life under COVID-19.
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Tony Homsy, SJ
Homsy studied at Creighton as a Jesuit Scholastic from 2013 to 2014 and participated in the Alaska Backpack Journalism 2014 summer class. He is currently studying theology and journalism at Saint Joseph University, a Jesuit university in Beirut, Lebanon. The university closed on March 1 and transitioned to online classes. Homsy has been in isolation at his residence since March 8.
What is your life like right now?
Since March 8, 11 Jesuits in our residence have tested positive for COVID-19. That is when we went into quarantine in our rooms. Four Jesuits remain hospitalized, but are doing well at this time. I was fortunate to not contract the virus.
How are you coping?
This has been a call for me to go back to the essentials. First, I started with nutrition. I am following a very basic diet that provides me with what I need to stay healthy. Second, I maintain good communication, especially with my family in Syria. Third, I have discovered that it is important to rest in order to be productive. I am productive, but my mindset towards my work has changed. I have to admit that a stable Internet connection has helped a lot. I know that many have been struggling to have a decent connection when the whole family has to be online.
Has your outlook changed?
I have deepened my gratitude for everything, no matter how simple it is. Silently, I look out my window from the ninth floor. I am thankful for the sunny days. Thankful for the ability to be adaptive in all the situations. I pray for hard workers, for those who make their daily bread for their families. I’m thankful for the nice people around me. Especially the old lady I can see from my window. She is working at the Jesuit Social Service Center, a parish of Saint Joseph, that continues serving the poor. She is devoted to them. I still recognize her smile, even though she wears a medical mask. I recognize that even during this time, I live with privilege.
When you reflect on this time, what are your hopes or plans for the future?
Right now, we are back to the essentials. Right now, we can recognize that inside each person, there is a human. Maybe our hectic lives have prevented us from seeing the best of him/her, and the best of us. Next time I meet Samira (the woman I see from my window), I will give her a COVID-19-free hug, and I will tell her, “Thank you! Thank you for being a sign of hope during my deserted life.”
Interview conducted March 26, 2020