Winona State students react to stay-at-home extension

Winona State students react to stay-at-home extension

Kellen Brandt, Features Reporter

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz ordered a statewide stay-at-home order on March 25 that went into effect on March 27, asking Minnesota residents to stay at home whenever and if ever possible until April 10.

On April 8, Walz extended the statewide stay-at-home order until 11:59 p.m. on May 3.

College students across the world are expressing concern over missing out on regularly scheduled activities, living in their college town and experiences at their university.

Winona State University students are among that population and expressed both their endorsement and their frustrations with the stay-at-home-order.

Bailey Barnes, a junior majoring in nursing, expressed how she felt about the extension of the stay-at-home order.

“I’m sad but understanding,” Barnes said. “I understand it is needed to try and flatten the curve, but I am sad that this semester of school and being with friends was taken from so many people, especially seniors and their graduation.”

Barnes said she finds herself most days in her room all day doing online classes and homework.

While Barnes understands the severity of the coronavirus and is respectful of the extended stay-at-home order, she, like many other students, is struggling to be home with family.

“I respect them, but it is getting very hard to stay at home consistently with my family,” Barnes said. “They are driving me nuts.”

Much like Barnes, third year Debra Medin, majoring in creative digital media and advertising, is living at home for the time being.

Medin is one of twenty people living in her house at the moment, which she believes makes her day a bit more unscheduled, fast-paced and livelier than many other students living at home right now.

“There is not really a chance to be bored because there are so many people to hang out with,” Medin said. “I just started making TikToks with my seven-year-old niece and that’s been pretty hilarious. Having babies around definitely makes staying at home more enjoyable, too.”

Medin has been following the stay-at-home order and hopes other are as well.

“I hope that people are taking the stay-at-home order seriously, but I think it depends on the person,” Medin said. “From social media it seems like people take it seriously to a point.”

Medin sees the stay-at-home order lasting well into May, but with her birthday coming up, she hopes the stay-at-home extension ends at least before the middle of June.

“I want to see my friends on my birthday, but I would understand if they extended it past then,” Medin said. “It would definitely be a sad day, seeing as a fourth of my senior year got taken away, my commencement got cancelled and I wouldn’t be able to celebrate my birthday as planned.”

Among many students following the stay-at-home order, Abbey Johnson, a fourth year student majoring in literature and language and applied and professional writing, welcomed the initial stay-at-home order.

“I’m still grateful for the extension order to reduce contact with others,” Johnson said. “I wish the order were stricter though to cut down on unnecessary social interactions more.”

Johnson is no longer working for the time being, which has significantly hurt her income.

“I’m now on unemployment benefits which has helped, especially with the passing of the CARES Act,” Johnson said.

In hopes the stay-at-home order can get everyone including herself back to work, Johnson is in full support of the stay-at-home orders and has only been leaving her house for groceries.

Barnes left with a final message, short and to the point.

“This sucks,” Barnes said. “I wish it was May 4th already.”


The opinions expressed in this paper are not necessarily those of Winona State University, the Minnesota State Colleges and University system, or the Winona State University student body.