Dan Piersma, Assistant Sports Editor
To say that 2020 has been unusual is an understatement. The spring 2020 semester began as normal as students returned after winter break to finish out the school year on a strong note.
Around the world, we saw the bombing in Iran and threats of World War III breaking out, which led to the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump. We also saw the beginning of a “mysterious” virus outbreak in Wuhan, China in late December and early January. The first COVID-19 case in the United States was confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Jan. 21.
The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global health emergency on Jan. 30 and travel from China was later restricted by President Donald Trump.
February was a month filled with questioning as to when the virus would make its way to the United States and how bad it could really get. The first coronavirus death in the U.S. was reported on Feb. 29 and heavy travel restrictions were then put into place.
March is when the lives of Utica College members and citizens around the country were forever changed.
On March 3, students and faculty would receive the first of many emails from President Laura Casamento stating that the college was monitoring the situation and would do everything it could to keep the UC community safe.
A little over a week later, on March 11, President Casamento sent out another email, which officially announced that classes would be transitioning to online-only until at least April 13.
UC was one day away from spring break and students were getting a week off before returning to campus to finish out the last few months of the semester, the baseball and softball teams were preparing to head to Florida to open their seasons, and the hockey team was ready to continue its historic run in the NCAA tournament.
But this time it was different. The NCAA announced on March 12 that it would be canceling all collegiate spring sports throughout the nation and ending all winter sports tournaments. Just like that, so many seniors lost their seasons.
For the men’s hockey team, this was especially devastating because of all the excitement for their playoffs at the Adirondack Bank Center.
On March 13, Trump declared a national emergency and on March 17, Casamento announced the cancelation of all in-person classes for the rest of the semester. Some students had seen professors and friends for the last time.
Within a few days, graduation was also postponed and Casamento announced that it would happen in-person on Aug. 1 and 2.
This pandemic has affected the students and faculty in more ways than one as residents who lived on campus were forced out of all residence halls on short notice, except for a few international students who remained on campus.
For them, Pioneer Village has become a form of refuge during the global pandemic while travel restrictions are preventing them from returning to their home countries.
As of right now, New York State is on a pause until May 15 with the possibility of it getting extended.
Looking to the future, UC has cancelled all in-person summer classes, and it’s still unknown if in-person classes will even be able to resume when the fall semester starts in August.