How RHS students and teachers manage through a pandemic

How RHS students and teachers manage through a pandemic

Arlen Urbina

Living through a pandemic hasn’t been easy at all for students and teachers at RHS. The pandemic is another challenge that we’ve had to learn to live with since May of 2020.

We’ve had to embrace social distancing and wearing masks for too long. Staying away from our loved ones has become a challenge and everyone has been worried that this will only get worse. Until, it was announced that a vaccine was found for the virus, Covid-19. Starting with the elderly and the ones with health issues to the young ones, the vaccines were released to the public once and for all. 

Although this is a good sign, vaccinated individuals still have to wear masks in public and take precautions. They can, however, gather in small groups with family and friends ONLY if they already have the vaccine.

We are slowly starting to see change and encourage everyone to keep taking all precautions, to stay safe and if possible, to get the Covid vaccine.

*Interviews were set with students and teachers about how their lives were changed by the pandemic and virus.*

Life Before the Pandemic

We all know the good times before the pandemic; hanging out with friends, going to the grocery store without masks, having a regular school schedule etc. Life seemed much more simpler and less chaotic compared to now. We didn’t have to worry about Covid-19 or being away from people.

Teachers stated that their life was already very busy and “hectic” as Ms.Guadagno put it. They had to worry about normal teacher things (that was very time consuming and challenging already). Correcting with a red pen was once a thing, it would take hours to correct papers with a red pen by hand to some old-fashioned teachers. 

Students also said that their life was more “carefree” and “nice.” One student even stated that just before things started off the edge, he was starting to make new friends. Later on it was more challenging to make friends due to virtual classes. Seeing people and computers as a whole was overall very overwhelming and difficult.

 

Negative and Positive Effects

When we hear the word “virus” we think of something negative or bad. Although the pandemic has brought many hardships, it has also shown us some unexpected goodness.

For many students, the pandemic has made things much more difficult. One student said, “my motivation has been very down, lately” this student is not alone in terms of how they feel. This is a very common answer between students, it is definitely not something they are used to. 

It has also made students less active and more stressed about future questions.

On the bright side, it has given them more free time; spending more time with their families, catching up on sleep. It has helped prepare them for college-style classes.

As for teachers, it has become difficult to help students one-on-one. Additionally, teachers feel lonely and isolated teaching remotely. Teachers have had to adapt to remote teaching and learn how to teach to “black screens.” Ms.Barile described it as “psychologically damaging,” because it is not something anyone is used to and takes much thought and process.

Aside from this, teachers have seen student’s writing skills improve and get stronger than ever before. It has helped teachers slow down their lives and think about what really makes them happy.

Coping with the stress and anxiety caused by pandemic and virus

A student answered: “I try to take advantage of time and do things I enjoy in my freetime.” 

Other students replied with “Try not to overthink about it, don’t watch too much news” and “Try to keep yourself busy.”

These student tips can actually help stress less and focus on what is important and makes you feel happy and take it one step at a time.

Teacher advised: “going outside, taking some time to do something I love everyday” and “Talk to old friends, exercise and express your feelings through writing.”

Sometimes it is the simple things we do that can make an impact in our lives. Seeing things from a positive perspective can help to not feel so anxious and stressed during the pandemic.

Advice for former Students and Teachers at RHS

Sometimes something as simple as going for a walk can be very helpful (with precautions, of course). It is advised that you find a hobby or distraction (there are many clubs and activities at RHS to get involved) to help during the stressful times of the Covid-19 pandemic. As said by Ms.Barile, “what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger!” Reach out to someone about how you are feeling, let them know if it is getting bad (find help if needed) don’t be afraid to talk to your counselors and principal. Lastly, use writing as a tool, escape, release and happiness.