About the series
The "Auburn voices from the pandemic" series is an oral history from The Plainsman of COVID-19 and how people are being affected by the disease.
As told to Collins Keith
Sadok Aounallah, an RA for the village dorms, talks about living alone on campus and his fears about COVID-19. His oral history was made possible through an interview he granted The Plainsman on Friday, April 10, 2020. The transcript from that interview has been slightly edited for clarity and rearranged for structure to produce the following piece.
It’s just lonely, like, it sucks. I don’t know.
Sign up for our newsletter
Get The Plainsman straight to your inbox.
You know how there’s the theory that you need to get touched at least seven times a day, shake someone’s hands or hug someone? At the start I was, like, "No, I don’t think that’s true.” But shit, man, it could be true. I’m losing my shit.
I can’t see my family, you know, and I don’t know when I’ll be able to go home. I guess that’s been the hardest. I’m stuck here with a lot of uncertainty. I call my family at least once a day, once every other day. I call my friends everyday. I guess it’s been being able to call people, you know? It’s kinda scary how it can impact your loved ones. I know my grandparents are really vulnerable to it 'cause they’re in Tunisia right now, and they’re alone. They can’t leave the house at all. I don’t know. I’m worried about my parents. I’m worried about my grandparents. I’m worried about my friend’s family.
It's scary that people are still dying, and the numbers are just going up and up. I’m not worried about myself as much as I am other people that could get infected and die because of it. I feel like people aren’t respecting the social distancing as much as they should. I get it. People do want to hang out with their friends, and they do want to go out and stuff, but I still see people posting pictures online of them hanging out with their friends, and it’s like, okay, that’s cool, but it’s not safe.
Housing always says we try to create a safe and inclusive environment, and safe comes before inclusive. Of course it’s rough being alone, separating students. But at the same time, this is all to ensure that people stay safe, to minimize the amount of contact that we have. I’ll be honest, when a couple residents said, "Hey, we want to come say hi,” I had to be like, "I’m sorry. I’m just trying to respect the social distancing. It’s nothing against you. I miss you, and I really want to see you, but I just can’t."
Especially coming to finals week and stuff, this is the stage where everybody’s stressed out, everybody’s nervous, and you kinda get to know people a lot better when they’re stressed out or when they’re going through a really difficult phase. It does suck. All of the people I wanted to see again, you know?
When you’re in a place that you didn’t really want to be, but you are — it just, I don’t know, you have to sleep with that.
Read previous stories from The Plainsman's oral history series:
Do you like this story? The Plainsman doesn't accept money from tuition or student fees, and we don't charge a subscription fee. But you can donate to support The Plainsman.Support The Plainsman