© 2023 WSKG

601 Gates Road
Vestal, NY 13850

217 N Aurora St
Ithaca, NY 14850

FCC Public Files:
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

For Some Cornell Students, Ithaca Is Safer Than Home


ITHACA, NY (WSKG) - Some Cornell* students have stayed in Ithaca rather than return home amid the COVID-19 pandemic. It was a difficult choice.

In mid-March, Cornell University announced it would suspend classes early and sending students home in response to the COVID-19 pandemic,

Jonathan Davydov and his two roommates are juniors at Cornell.

They share an off-campus apartment close to the university. After talking with their parents they decided it was better for everyone if the three stayed in Ithaca.

In early March, Davydov attended an out-of-town conference. Later two people at the conference tested positive for COVID-19. He was not in contact with them and health officials notified Davydov that he wasn’t at risk, but he was worried anyway.

"So, that was really a big thing in my decision, was that I didn’t want to be an asymptomatic carrier, come home and bring it to my at-risk mother and grandmother," he said.

Davydov shares an apartment in Brooklyn with his mother and his grandmother lives in the same building.

Now, he talks with his mother every day. Talking to his grandmother is more difficult. His family is refugees from Uzbekistan, in Central Asia. It shares a border with Afghanistan.

"My grandma and I we can't really talk to each other that well in Russian or English and we were just sort of on the phone together last night, enjoying each other's company, just kind of hearing each other breathing," Davydov said.

He said that call was a reality check.

"I don’t know when the next time I’ll be able to hug her is, because of this virus," he said. "And, you know, sometimes it kinda strikes you that we are living in a pandemic and this isn’t just a really long spring break."

"And that was definitely one of those moments," he added.

For now, Davydov and his roommates are trying to keep up a routine that includes daily hikes.

Full Disclosure: Cornell University is a WSKG Underwriter.