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Davis, California

Friday, April 12, 2024

Good news: newborn animals, goodie bags, intuitive eating, more as Aggies count their blessings

UC Davis students, faculty spread positivity through survey distributed by The California Aggie, responses compiled below

There is no denying the inconvenient truth that, due to the impacts of COVID-19, the global community and the lives of its citizens may be considerably different for the foreseeable future. Given the constant broadcast of virus-related news and updates, good news might seem few and far between. 

The California Aggie, in an effort to spread cheer amid difficult times, asked members of the UC Davis community to share positive news either experienced first-hand or witnessed while sheltering-in-place. More than several Aggies were willing to share exciting or uplifting tidbits, and The Aggie sorted through the responses, ultimately choosing to share responses that would be most valuable to the community at-large.

The following responses have been edited for length and clarity. 

Familial cheer

“Amid all the craziness, my sister gave birth to a baby boy! It was crazy to see this new human experiencing everything for the first time, tragic to see him be welcomed into such a disintegrating world. I soon realized, within tragedy lies new lives, lies small happy moments, that come together and make us strong enough to face tomorrow.”

“I’ve been able to video chat with my grandmother a lot more! I’m an out of state student, so it’s hard to communicate with my family due to the time difference (especially those that don’t know how to text or use social media). My grandmother and I have been video chatting, and I’ve been teaching her how to hold the phone so I can see her whole face and not just her forehead. She’s also been learning emojis. They grow up so fast! She taught me how to make her famous tuna salad the other day and she flipped her camera and everything!”

“Our family is focusing on the positive — more time to spend with each other. Our lives were incredibly busy, heading here and there all the time. Suddenly, we have come to a screeching halt. We can sit and just talk in the quiet moments of the morning, or in the afternoon after we have finished Zoom for the day. We hope to be able to look back and not forget the value of this time once we are up and running again!”

Spring has sprung!

“There are several babies being born in the campus barns — foals, lambs, kids and piglets. Vegetables and flowers are still growing in our fields, and spring continues to share its beauty. Life outside continues to thrive even as we shelter-in-place.”

“The swell in SoCal is picking up!”

“In one week, we are getting a new puppy to love — a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. We are naming her ‘Aggie!’”

“Quarantined at home allows me to actually be able to keep an eye on two of my horses that are due with babies soon. I might actually get to be there for the births!”

“Being from the Bay Area, we’ve actually gotten a good amount of rain recently. Initially, it was a huge bummer, but [it] turned out to be so worth it because now the hills are greener than ever. Nothing beats taking my dogs out to adventure in the freshly blooming hills after a Zoom class.”

Creating personal definitions of self-discovery and fulfillment

“I have finally reached a point in my life where I fully accept and understand that I am queer. With each day, I gain more pride because I continue to be myself, unapologetically.” 

“I have free time to start learning [computer science]. I never thought I would be able to learn it, but I took it upon myself to do so this quarter.” 

“Every day, I’ve been running with my hometown best friend — six feet apart, obviously! I honestly used to be self-conscious [about] running and tried to go early in the mornings to avoid seeing people, but going with her has really helped build my confidence. I never thought I’d run this much in my life and actually feel good doing it.” 

“I’m going to law school!”

“Time at home has allowed me to focus on intuitive eating and nourishing my body. During school, I’ve always found it difficult to eat healthy meals and avoid processed, junky snacks. However, now I’m able to learn more about nutrition and what’s right for my body. Put good in, get good out!”

Acts of unity and selflessness

“In the neighborhood I’m in, every night at 7 p.m., when the doctors and nurses finish their shifts, everyone in the town goes outside their front doors with their families to bang pots and pans, honk their horns, cheer and make noise to show their support for the healthcare workers risking their lives to protect us. It makes me happy to see so many people coming together to express their solidarity and gratitude for them.”

“San Francisco is a complicated city, where genius and ambition march side-by-side with greed, inequality, and existential despair. Yet in spite of these differences, I have seen my city rise to the occasion as we fight coronavirus. I see people being gentler, kinder, and less confrontational. In my neighborhood of hipsters, young families, Slavic grandmothers, and older couples, people smile as we zigzag across the street in keeping with social distance regulations. We are united by a bewildering pandemic that threatens the livelihood of the workers who make our city function, and imperils the elderly who suffer from respiratory and autoimmune illnesses. Walking my dog a few days ago, I was sniffling not due to the virus, but due to the strong and ever-present wind blowing against me. A woman asked me if I was okay and confessed that she, too, had been sniffling earlier that day. Standing on opposite sides of the street, we shared a brief moment of connection and concern. I can only hope that this type of behavior will continue, and teach us all to be a little bit kinder.”

“My mom left goodie bags filled with things like toilet paper, soap and snacks on top of our trash bins for the garbage collectors. We initially made fun of her — joking that she was disrupting their workflow, because they’d have to get out of the truck to get the bag — but our mockery was silenced when one of the collectors left us a note that simply read “thank you so much” on the top of one of our bins.”

Written by: Claire Dodd — features@theaggie.org

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