A Place without People

The barren heart of San Diego State.

I’ve worked on the campus on San Diego State ever since I moved to San Diego. And during the semester it’s a place that’s filled with people. When I got here it was full of kids walking and talking on their cell phones. Now it’s full of kids walking and staring at their cell phones.

But I shouldn’t say “now” because, once the great sickness spread across the world, SDSU students were sent home. So were their professors and everybody else who worked on campus. This place has the same shape with its paths, hills and buildings. But it no longer has a human spirit.

A place isn’t a place without people. Even in the summer, when class numbers shrunk to a minimum, there were still people in transit from the bookstore to the ATM’s and the food court then to some mysterious activity they had in some academic hall. You still heard the SDSU students who’d gathered to form an ensemble at the music building, on the edge of an open athletic field.

A couple days ago I stopped to take a photo of an empty campus (the one you see above) that I would have never been able to take in the daylight before this.

Nobody seems to know when we’ll be able to meet and touch each other again. Now we’re hiding from others to avoid infection. All of this virus avoidance makes me I wonder how we will be able to build up immunity and ultimately be protected from COVID-19. From what I hear a vaccine is years away.

Anyway, I’ll look forward to seeing you in the line to enter the grocery store, though I probably won’t know it’s you unless I can recognize you behind a medical mask.

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