by Darla Martin Tucker, courtesy North American Division News
When senior pre-med student Marielis George received the email in March announcing La Sierra University’s transition online due to the advancing pandemic, she faced a daunting reality.
The university allowed dorm students to remain on campus if they faced difficulty returning home. George, an Angwin Hall resident and native New Yorker with just months remaining in her degree program, had the option of staying. But she felt a responsibility to her parents and also to the university to leave campus and fly back east to Yonkers, 20 miles outside of New York City. She arrived on March 15, when the Big Apple was buckling under the pandemic’s devastating spread, a horrific scenario that was destined to become much worse. As of May 28, officials reported more than 16,600 COVID-19 deaths in the city and almost 200,000 cases. Major spikes struck in April, overwhelming hospitals and medical personnel.