Many BYU-Idaho students are now acquainted with the digital era of online learning due to curriculum adjustments, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
For some students affected by travel or quarantine restrictions, the online option allows them to continue their education wherever they may be. One such student is Arlene Eduria, a young woman living in the Philippines.
Eduria, a pathway student planning on majoring in marriage and family studies, has never been to the United States, but is excited to go one day. Before the coronavirus, Eduria enjoyed hiking and being outdoors. Now, she finds her life simplified, but is still staying productive.
“I’m finding online jobs and doing family history work, and studying scriptures and watching videos to get new knowledge that will help me in the future,” Eduria said.
From Eduria’s perspective, the quarantine situation created a clear cultural shift in the Philippines, a place she has always known as a very social country.
“Right now, the only precaution that we are taking is to quarantine ourselves at home. We’re not allowed to go outside,” Eduria said. “Every time we need to talk to neighbors, we need to wear masks and we need to distance like five meters apart.”
President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines released a set of area-specific quarantine rules on April 30, for May, according to CNN Philippines. Depending on location, these rules enact strict stay-at-home rules, suspend mass transportation and close nonessential businesses. However, the government’s response has not been satisfactory to some citizens like Eduria.
“People here in the Philippines are frustrated, worried that government has reacted too slowly to pandemic. But we are blessed to have the gospel because it helps me and my family to understand the will of the Lord at this point in time,” Eduria said.
Eduria hopes she can return to her adventures soon, and plans on continuing her BYU-I education in the fall.