Coping with closures
May 29, 2020
By KERI CARROLL and AMAYA ROTHROCK
As students and staff left school on March 11, none of them realized that it would be the last day of the school year. Pennsylvania’s schools had to officially closed their doors for the duration of the school year due to the worldwide Coronavirus pandemic. The first case of the COVID-19 virus was traced back China, starting in November. It has since erupted into a worldwide issue, spreading from Europe to the United States, and practically every country in the world.
COVID-19 is a disease that causes respiratory issues with symptoms including a cough, fever, and shortness of breath. Thousands upon thousands of citizens across the world have become infected. Due to how contagious it is and the fatality rates, the CDC has advised limiting any social interactions or gatherings until case rates decrease. This has left many people wondering what is to come and what to do.
Many states are handling the situation by going on lockdown to prevent people from holding nonessential gatherings. Several states have issued a shelter in place order, meaning people can only leave their homes for essential needs such as for food or medical care.
As of May 29, there are a total of 70,735 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Pennsylvania, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health. As a result, Governor Wolf of Pennsylvania had ordered people to stay at home as much as possible and avoid nonessential travel. It wasn’t until recently he started opening the state back up, county-by-county in a series of phases: red, yellow, and green. Today marked Centre County’s official entry into the green phase.
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Junior Lia Miner has been taking advantage of this time.
“I’ve been cleaning, relaxing, and going outside a lot more. I’ve been doing things I didn’t have time for prior to this,” Lia said.
Many have found themselves doing small home or self improvements. To most, it’s been important to keep themselves occupied during all the chaos. Others have been using social media as a form of communication. There have been trending challenges and hashtags all over the internet, being used to spread positivity and as just one other activity to do.
“I workout a good bit and try to talk to friends as much as I can. I haven’t really picked up any new hobbies, unless excessive sleeping counts,” senior Chelsea Robson said.
At high schools everywhere, it’s been noticed that seniors of the 2020 graduating class are taking the biggest hit. Schools all across the country canceled senior trips, balls, picnics, and all other senior activities. Some worry about how they will receive their diploma. Whether it be on a virtual graduation ceremony or a tiny email pdf, most seniors are overwhelmed with disappointment and uncertainty.
“It stinks being a senior during all of this. Especially right now, when all of the end of the year activities were supposed to be taking place. It feels unfair that our class went through four years of high school for it to end like this,” senior Selah Brown said.
Many students were expecting to go back to school after a couple weeks and they were looking forward to having an unexpected break, but then the outbreak escalated and the short break continued to be extended until schools were closed for the rest of the year.
“At first when school ended, I was kind of excited just to be able to have time to catch up on things for college and see my family more. Once everything was extended it hit me how much I was missing. Track season, Senior Ball, graduation, even just little moments with friends. I feel like my last few months of being a kid were just gone,” Chelsea said.