Gone Viral

Students react to ‘new normal’ of life during a pandemic


Brooklynn Hathcock

COVID-19 facts about America and the rest of the world.

Brooklynn Hathcock, Digital Editor and Chief

In the world’s current state, lives upon lives have been lost and businesses and lifestyles have been left shattered. There is stll a global pandemic surveying the countries. People of all ages have been jeopardized, and still, people continue partying. Many countries have been in and out of lockdown, with numbers wavering.

With influencers like Bryce Hall, Tana Mongeau, and especially Jake Paul partying left and right, it’s clear a lot of people have not been following safety precautions or attempted any sort of measures to stay safe.

Senior Nicole Bienkowski does not see the partying as a good idea in the midst of a pandemic.

“Right now, it’s not going to the store or getting gas that is making people sick,” Bienkowski said. “It’s small gatherings and parties where no one has a mask, and people share things like drinks.”
It’s a common belief, or conspiracy theory, among both the younger generation and adults, that COVID-19 is not a major health concern, Some claim the media has blown the virus out of proportion, and that it only affects older people.

I never knew how bad this virus was until it personally affected my friends and myself. It’s scary how it is so real and close to all of us.

— Annie Droelle

The CDC has said on several occasions, which is still being questioned by some, that numbers aren’t necessarily going down and that the masks and safety measures put in place are effective. It’s also been noted by numbers of COVID-19 survivors have had many long lasting health complications following their recovery.

Senior Annie Droelle never realized just how bad the virus is.

“I never knew how bad this virus was until it personally affected my friends and myself,” Droelle said. “It’s scary how it is so real and close to all of us.

In America, the closings of businesses and schools began in March. With people going out to enjoy the summer or birthdays, numbers began raising, and now with Halloween parties and the holidays coming up here in the USA, medical professionals are predicting rising numbers of positive cases. It’s also been predicted that a second wave is making its way toward us soon.

Many things thus far have been affected by this infection. School sports teams like soccer, volleyball, and football have been left with no choice other than to wear a mask while playing, or they wouldn’t be able to at all.

Senior Sami Elfakir was pretty bummed about football ending.

“I’m really sad about the football season ending,” Elkafir said. “I really thought this was the team that could go far and make a long run in the playoffs.”

No one has gone this long without COVID-19 effecting them yet, whether it be remembering a mask before leaving the house, or having an event cancelled. Weddings have been rescheduled or done privately. Proms, graduations, graduation parties, birthdays– everything has been different than the normal we remember.

With the social distancing rules set in place, and a mask mandate in many locations, many schools have even been switching to virtual.

Sophomore Marissa Gillespie is one of the many experiencing virtual school for the first time.

“It’s affecting me in school because we have to do online school, which is more difficult,” Gillespie said. “We are not used to it and since we can’t go into school, we don’t see our friends and can’t socialize in general. I know that we have to avoid catching COVID and social distance, but sometimes it’s hard to stay inside and not go places or see our friends.”

The pandemic has also left junior Jayden Slaughter to experience this new schooling technique.

“It’s harder to learn in this online environment, I have to try much harder to learn., Slaughter said. “I am more stressed out. I have less motivation and often feel lonely. COVID sucks and must be stopped.”

On the other hand, virtual schooling has also had a beneficial effect on students. Senior Vinnie Russo, for example, sees the online schooling environment in a positive light, mentioning how it has helped him with saving money and time, Still, Russo prefers in person.

“COVID has affected my grades in a positive way. I have more time to do my work now that we are at home, and I save on gas and miles by not driving to school,” Russo said. “I think we should go back just because it’s my last year in school, and I want to be there.”

While last year, seniors lost out on the traditional end-of-the-year school celebrations, the Class of 2021 fears the same may happen to them if numbers keep rising while some members of the community ignore social distancing guidelines.