Category: Fall 2020, Georgetown Magazine

Title:Personal Reflections: Gueinah Blaise

Author: Interviewed by Jeffrey Donahoe
Date Published: November 18, 2020


gueinah blaise

A day or two before we left for spring break, we were alerted that Georgetown was planning on shutting things down. My mom, who’s a nurse’s assistant, said she thought it’d be best if I just got out of D.C. as fast as possible.

When I got home in Boston, I quarantined in my room because my mom works in a nursing home. We were taking precautions so that my mom wouldn’t take the virus to work. If I give it to my mom, and my mom takes it to someone in the nursing home, they can die.

The last couple of months have been insane because I had multiple members of my family diagnosed with COVID-19. My 14-year-old brother was diagnosed and had to quarantine. I would leave food outside his door and then Facetime him to see if he was okay.

My grandfather and one of my mom’s close aunts who helped raise her were diagnosed with COVID-19 and passed away within four weeks of each other. My grandfather couldn’t have visitors in the nursing home, and he just got increasingly worse the longer he went without seeing people. My mom thinks he passed away from loneliness more than the virus.

I think the first time I left my house was to go to Trader Joe’s to get groceries in preparation for my graduation celebrations with my immediate family. The second time was my actual graduation. We went to a park to take pictures. It’s weird because graduating is my biggest accomplishment but only a handful of my immediate family members could hug me.

Not getting to tie a nice, neat bow on the completion of my Hilltop experience, or walk at graduation, or say goodbye to my roommates—even though I know I’m going to see them again—is hard. I feel sort-of robbed.

If this pandemic hadn’t happened, I would have gone to law school this fall. Because of everything that my family was going through, I just felt like it wasn’t the right time to leave. It was a tough decision to make.

Gueinah Blaise (C’20) graduated with a major in Government and minors in Jewish Civilization and journalism. She celebrated her graduation with her mother, Gina, her brother, and a few close relatives at a park near her home in Boston. In August, she accepted a position as a legal assistant for a New York law firm.

More from this Issue

Coach Thompson at podium

At 6 feet, 10 inches tall, Coach John Thompson Jr.—affectionately known as “Big John”—stood above many as an athlete, pioneering NCAA coach, architect of the Big East, three-time Olympian, and…

medical students with pipettes in lab

Above: Aline de Souza, M.D., (left) and Xie Wu (right) do RNA prep for ACE2 studies led by Hong Ji, M.D. When the pandemic began widening in March 2020, Georgetown…

Rio Djiwandana

The Crown Heights community is made up of mostly low-income families of color. The vast majority of my students identify as Afro-Caribbean and are from countries such as Jamaica,…