The week our reality changed by Dylan Lee.
To think that the pandemic has been around for a year is scary, but at the same time, completely wild. On this week, a year ago, toilet papers, disinfectant wipes and paper towels were flying off the shelves at the stores. There was a palpable fear of restaurants, gyms, public transportations, libraries, museums, offices and schools. Quarantine began a year ago this week. In the midst of all that fear and uncertainty, many people have stepped up to help those in our surrounding communities who have been affected the worst. They have organized food drives, donated to food banks, stitched face masks, made phone calls to check up on senior citizens, created artwork, and written letters to strangers in nursing homes who are not able to receive visitors.
The onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic had radically changed our relationship with school and learning. It forced our teachers to rethink their strategies in order to adapt to online learning. At WSP, faculty members have found a variety of ways to communicate with students and keep them in the rhythm of learning. While teaching from a distance is an unprecedented challenge, teachers found creative solutions and adapted their classes to make the best of remote learning, while investing time in our personal lives. Most teachers use their designated class periods to hold virtual meetings on Zoom or to assign lesson plans for students to follow.
Some people assume that adolescents generally would enjoy an experience where they could lounge around at home and barely attend classes. They would no longer have to wake up at 6:30 a.m. or earlier to get prepared for the day, to drive to school, and to sit in on teachers’ lectures for hours at a time – every teenagers’ dream. However, the transition from learning on campus to online learning was more frustrating for a multitude of students than originally perceived. The concept of on-campus learning remains appealing to a majority of students and teachers, and many wait patiently for a return to a somewhat normal routine.
Just the fact that we’ve made it this far is remarkable in some way, whether it’s that you are still alive and healthy or the fact that this is still happening.
No one really expected COVID to go on this long, but it still is a thing. We have to recognize that COVID is a very real part of our lives, and it won’t just go away when you decide you’re done with it. There are some people who think that it’s time for the world to be normal again, but we really can’t do it. If everyone decided to just stop wearing masks and distancing, then the pandemic would worsen severely and this would all go on for a lot longer. Consider this me begging you to continue with the proper procedures for COVID prevention.
There are three vaccines that they tested, and based on the data that they obtained, the vaccines have been deemed between 66% to 94.5% effective (Time.com). This all provides hope for the world that we will come out of this soon, and it’s exciting to think that we might be able to go back to normal.
With all of this in mind, we still need to do our parts. Continue wearing a mask, continue distancing from people within the new guidelines that are being updated as the data and research indicates the best practices, and make sure that you are staying safe. Take personal days and have mental-health check-ins with yourself and your friends. Know that we will be back to normal one day.
The pandemic has changed everyone’s lives, for better or for worse, and there’s nothing we can do about it. While it has been a wild ride, we don’t need to have it continue on this way. We are the only ones who can prevent a future of isolation. Stay safe and celebrate that you’ve made it and survived through one year of COVID.