New COVID-19 Campus Update Shares Where To Pick Up Your Coronavirus-Shaped Stress Ball
This week’s official COVID-19 campus update included a surprise: under “Resources for Coping,” the university announced that each student is entitled to a free coronavirus-shaped stress ball, available in the lobbies of all residence halls and offices on campus.
“We know our students are dealing with a lot right now,” said the text of the email. “The well-being of our students is our top priority, which is why we encourage our Hawkeyes to come pick up a dope stress ball to offset their pandemic-related anxiety, existential despair, and the loss of spring break. In these tough times, remember we are here for you.”
The response from the student body has been overwhelmingly positive.
“It meant the world to me,” said freshman Zoe Kirk. “My grandmother lives on the northside and we’ve been anxious about her ever since the outbreak began. Her next-door neighbors are a bunch of nursing students who have been throwing parties almost every night since classes started. She hasn’t seen any of us in weeks and is terrified to go to her appointments at the hospital. But when I learned about the stress ball, I knew everything was going to be okay.”
“It just feels good to know UI is on our side through all of this,” said junior Elizabeth Jimenson, who tested positive for COVID-19 this past week alongside her three roommates.
“Every email from the university restates that we are not alone, and you know what? We aren’t. There are 2,000 of us and counting, and those are just the self-reported cases!”
Jimenson wasn’t able to collect her stress ball because she is quarantining, but her boyfriend brought her one before they went for a socially-distanced hour-long dinner inside at Cactus.
Other students reported that the promised stress ball is already helping them manage the frustrations of digital learning.
“I was having a bad one because my accounting professor uploaded the recorded lecture without audio again, and I’m the only student who watches them,” said TALA-approved senior Evan Edwards. “But when I got the email, I got so excited, I forgot I’m paying full tuition for this shit.”
Johnson County has reported a 20% spike in cases since the email was sent, which experts say they “cannot confirm” was due to floods of students lining up to get their stress ball before supplies ran out.