COVID-19 and ND DU’s

Three members of the chapter and two of our alumni share their pandemic experiences this past year.

Grant Johnson

Covid-19 has posed many challenges for me. I have ADHD and zoom lectures were very difficult for me to pay attention to. Professors also used multiple online platforms to turn different assignments into (sometimes up to 3 different systems). It became apparent to me early on that it was far too easy to get lost in the material or to forget about assignments.

I sought help from my brothers and with their support I was able get help scheduling assignments, meet with professors electronically, and help with material in classes that were extra challenging. Without the support of my brothers, I would’ve drowned in this post-corona world, and I am very grateful for the help they lent to me.

Grant Johnson ‘22

Matthew Fredrickson

Doing a semester online throughout COVID has showed me two important things: motivating myself, and how important interacting with people are. All of the classes I took during the fall semester were online, and a majority of them were asynchronous meaning I didn’t have a professor reminding me of upcoming things every other day. So, I really had to keep track of assignments, tests and projects on my own accord. And I had to motivate and be responsible to complete these assignments and tests. Being in the isolation that COVID has caused makes it difficult to interact with people, especially in person.

Being a member of Delta Upsilon made this significantly easier. Just by simply going over to the house I would interact with 10-20 people. Although COVID has caused us, as a fraternity, to lose benefits of being a part of a fraternity, like formals and philanthropy, I strongly believe that being a part of Delta Upsilon has made the experience of COVID significantly easier for all members.

Matthew Fredrickson ‘23

Andrew Neumann

2020 has been a very different year impacting everyone in unique ways. One of the biggest situations that was made 2020 different from other years was the COVID-19 Pandemic. This made a large impact on how people live their everyday lives.

COVID has impacted my everyday life by no longer allowing in person meetings in the chapter. Unfortunately, with the current circumstances my brothers and I sometimes find issues when interacting with each other due to the virus. Although the virus has had its negative impacts it has improved my communication skills through text and zoom. I also have attained a stronger brotherhood with members who live in house.

The Fall of 2020 semester was very different than others. I wasn’t able to attend classes in person however, because of that I learned how to be more organized and manage online classes. Flying was different last semester because we had to fill out surveys and wear masks everywhere. From that I learned how to speak more clearly on the radio. This semester may have been different but I have made better friendships and learned new skills that will help me in my future.

Andrew Neumann ‘23

As a commercial pilot, things are going OK during the pandemic. Some flights I fly are near capacity and others, are only 15-20%full. Some of my flights to Mexico in December were full, but now the US CDC is requiring a negative COVID test to enter the US our working crew members are exempt.

One country that has their act together is Colombia – I took a few trips to Bogota in December in Colombia – everyone wears a mask, they take your temperature before entering a restaurant, and they make you use hand sanitizer as well.

I was hoping to take a vacation in Playa del Carman next month, but its on hold as we wait to see the impact of travel restrictions. Pilots are also as a group hoping to have early access to vaccinations, but it hasn’t happened yet.

Wade Dearstyne ‘95

I started the year with a new plan, I left my job as cybersecurity and privacy consultant and I decided to build a travel-related business while I traveled the world. I found a program through Remote Year that enabled digital nomad workers to travel to one country each month over twelve months. After arrival in Hanoi, Vietnam with twenty others from around the world, it was clear the program was not going to continue past the first month. I decided to leave to meet up with two friends in Maspalomas, Gran Canaria, Spain. Three days later, Spain entered its strict national lockdown.

Experiencing the pandemic from a desert island was about as exciting as it sounds. For the first couple months, I was limited to leaving the apartment alone and only to go to the nearest grocery store or pharmacy. At one point, exercise opened up, but it was in two different windows of an hour, in the morning and evening. I wasn’t to remain, because in May, I was recruited to a privacy position with a San Francisco Bay Area software company, requiring me to return to California in June.

Given COVID, remote work is how the entire company is working. I first temporarily worked from Palm Springs, and beginning in November from a downtown Los Angeles condo. I don’t know when we will all return to a physical office, in fact its possible we might never all return to a common office, so my physical long-term location remains up in the air.

Eric Lybeck ‘97