Here are more wonderful reflections submitted by my students as part of Global Student Project My Return to School During Covid19.
Returning to School: Heaven, 15, Bellarmine College Preparatory, USA
This picture represents us and healthcare workers. Although we are using masks, healthcare workers have to use many other masks just to protect themselves and others. I saw on social media that many people are complaining about having a hard time breathing in one mask, on the other hand we do not see these healthcare workers complaining about how it’s hard to breathe or it’s hot. I would like to say that Healthcare workers during the pandemic are heroes. They risk their own health for the health of other people.
Returning to School: Jack, 15, Bellarmine College Preparatory, USA
During this COVID-19 pandemic, I have found myself extremely bored and have not been as productive as I would like to be. This quarantine pandemic prevented me to play volleyball for Bellarmine and as a result I found myself to be less active. Without being able to go outside of the house as much because of quarantine, I had to buy and bench press to stay active and keep my body looking good and feeling good. In my return to school, I found myself to be easily distracted while in quarantine. Whether that is the temptation to look at my phone or zone out it has been harder for me to learn compared to school at Bellarmine. I was hoping before this quarantine that I would be more efficient in school and completing homework quicker, so I have more free time. Instead, I find myself on my phone or playing video games with my friends who are doing the same thing.
I feel that in our country the fastest way to get out of this pandemic is to wear our masks when in public and to social distance ourselves from one another. By wearing a mask and socially distancing ourselves we prevent ourselves from receiving and spreading the disease if we have it. I do not think that we should return to school just yet because there are still so many cases of this disease still out there. By gathering in larger groups like mass, assemblies, and sports we risk our health and others. I feel that restaurants should not be allowed to have indoor seating because it is just another way to spread the disease even more. While having indoor seating the air is more concealed compared to outdoor seating which the air spreads around. By having indoor seating, you increase the risk of your safety, your employee’s safety, and your customers safety. Finally, I feel that it is our responsibility to help contain this disease and prevent it from spreading. If we do our job and wear our mask and socially distance in public and quarantine, we can prevent this pandemic from spreading even more and killing more lives.
Returning to School: Jaiden, 15, Bellarmine College Preparatory, USA
Quarantine has been a difficult time for everyone, myself included. The last seven or so months have had very little differentiation– every day feels the same. I have found that I developed a sort of routine for myself that I use to keep myself sane but it is a double-edged sword. Keeping myself in a routine means that I don’t do anything interesting anymore, it really is the classic response to what someone asks what you did today, “nothing.” Coming back to school, for me, is really no different than my quarantine experience before. I understand how blessed I am to be able to continue my schooling online, however, going to school from my bedroom is not my ideal environment. The biggest change for me is how all my work is done online. I do not really mind, but I like doing work on paper for certain classes and for certain types of assignments. To be honest, I did not really expect much from an online school, even if I am going to a private school. Everyone is still relatively new to this kind of learning, and we are still learning how we can efficiently learn. Originally I thought I would be able to stay relatively sane while being on a screen for about five to six hours every day, but I was very wrong. Also, I had no hope for sports this year but it seems like California is very optimistic and only pushed back sports by one season.
Regarding the rules that have been in debates around our countries, please just listen to scientists. I do not really understand why people are so adamant with not wanting to wear a mask and social distance. What are these people trying to prove? I think that if people could have all just stayed indoors and followed COVID-19 protocols while going outside, America might have been able to lessen certain rules like other countries. I do not think that it is hard to just put on a mask and stay about 6 feet away from other people. Debates about returning to school and sports are the hardest for me, as much as I want to return, I think it is best to just wait off this year because of the increase of cases in schools that have gone back and the persistence of people who, again, refuse to wear a mask. I think that my previous comment can sum up how I think about anything regarding people coming together again, just listen to what the scientists say. These people who are researching and are already versed in contagions are setting guidelines for everyone so that we can get out of this slump, but for some reason, people are completely disregarding what they are saying and doing their own thing. We should hold ourselves accountable for preventing the spread of COVID-19. If everyone could just keep themselves in check and follow COVID-19 guidelines, we could potentially go back to doing things before the quarantine.
Returning to School: Jonas, 15, Bellarmine College Preparatory, USA
My return to school has not been all too difficult. I expected little to no difficulties as, I feel like Bellarmine has been well prepared, for the return to online school. I struggle with keeping all of my work online, because I find it hard to keep track of all of my files. There has been a large change in my sleep schedule, now that I can sleep in longer, which is incredibly nice, and comfortable. My teachers have all been very helpful, in assisting me and the other students in adjusting to these odd conditions. Now that some students are returning to school, I am hopeful that we will soon return to normalcy.
Masks should be a legal mandate. everyone should be legally forced to wear a face covering, even if it is only partially effective. Because if the experts are correct, the doctors and scientists, then everyone wearing a mask could potentially save thousands of lives, and even if that weren’t true, the only inconvenience you face is covering a portion of your face with a breathable material for a short time. On the subject of social distancing, I think this is as important as the masks, yet not quite as effective without people wearing masks. You should remain distant from people and wear a mask, for the health of everyone around you. I do not understand why some people refuse to wear a mask, they could be potentially killing someone, if they spread or catch the virus. Its such a small inconvenience yet it can have such a big impact. I think that it is everyone’s responsibility to prevent the coronavirus. Its not hard to do, just stay at home and wear masks in public. Its so easy, so why should we not.
Returning to School: Kavi, 15, Bellarmine College Preparatory, USA
The virus so called “Covid-19” has affected all of us around the world whether we like it or not. Truthfully, I do not know quite how to respond to the recent return to school and everything going back to the original norm. It has almost been a year since my mom has been telling me to sanitize my hands every time, I take a step outside, or that I have to stand at least six feet away from acquaintances that I see regularly. This assignment is the first time that I have stepped aside and really thought about the current situation at hand. I miss my friends, extended family, and the overall enjoyment of other people. I have not been able to participate in soccer games or most hobbies that I enjoy. Saying this, quarantine has not been an enjoyable time in my life so far. I have had to turn to God more than ever in desperate need to find answers to questions that nobody knows. I have also learned that the Lord, our father, is very approachable and easy to talk to about any subject matter that is on my mind. I also spend time reminiscing about the past by looking through old photos to keep my mind fresh. Although the future is unknown, I know for certain that I have resources and memories that will outlast these harsh times.
In my opinion, there is no human nor animal that is responsible for this virus. It is said to be inevitable that a world pandemic outbreak was bound to happen, but we just did not know when or where it would occur. However, The United States of America has been taking a very conservative approach towards implementing laws and policies to deter the virus. March 12, 2005, my personal birthday, was the first day Bellarmine College Preparatory in San Jose, California shut down and began online learning. This was roughly two months after the first case had been found in our country of closed borders. Our response to this outbreak was nonetheless soft especially compared to other countries. Although wearing masks and social distancing in stores is annoying and strenuous, it is absolutely necessary in order to limit the number of cases. This is also very important because the virus seems to be way more prevalent indoors than out. I believe that our government downplayed the virus and now has reached a state that is out of control. In addition, it is not too late in order to fight this virus if everyone follows the protocols in restaurant, personal and public areas. Saying this, this state of the virus is now in the hands of individuals and the level of seriousness they apply to these rules.
Returning to School: Nate, 15, Bellarmine College Preparatory, USA
In my drawing, I am showing how I feel Covid-19 has affected my world. I did this by showing all the things that I feel have been locked away due to Covid-19. I portrayed this by drawing an angry cartoon COVID virus directing all of the things that I feel have been taken away from me and hiding them behind a mask. The mask represents a type of jail that all of these things including us have been hiding since COVID started. First I drew laughter, I drew this because I feel like nothing has been necessarily funny or good in the world since. Next, I drew friends because I wasn’t allowed to see my friends for a long time in the beginning and it made some of us grow apart. After I drew high school. This is because I think everyone, who is in high school, has lost their high school experience that they experience once in their life. I drew sports after because not only was I affected by not being able to play sports anymore, but I could not go watch any sports like the Bell football games that everyone goes to. That also connects to the missing out on the high school experience. I put life because I feel like the normal lifestyle we were used to dying and will be forever changed when we go back to society. Finally, I put all of this being dragged down by a 100,000-pound weight because this feels like it is all being pulled away slowly and taking forever to find a way out.
Returning to School: Riley, 15, Bellarmine College Preparatory, USA
Reflecting on the “return to school” situation, I would say personally that I have enjoyed the time alone and sense of independence. I feel as if I am better student at home rather than school, being able to focus more with less distractions and working around my schedule at home. I am more productive at home because now I get my full eight hours of sleep and exercise in between breaks, which is very useful. Due to COVID 19, I have been drinking juices that are healthier for me and exercising a lot more than I used to. On a virtual school day, I would wake up around 8:00 a.m. and make my juice that consists of celery, carrots, vinegar, and other healthy nutrients that strengthen my muscles. Within a couple of months, my body will be a lot healthier for the football and basketball season. With this quarantine in place, I tried to persevere the positives rather than the negatives, to make the best of my current situation and how it will benefit me. It is sometimes hard to maintain a strict regimen, but at the end of the day it is how hard you want to achieve that goal.
For the safety of the people and future generations to come, I think it is in everybody’s best interest to wear a mask in public areas and to social distance. It is scientifically proven that masks prevent the risk by 65% of the disease, and that of social distancing is even a better add-on for the community. There are some individuals who refuse to wear a mask, stating that “America is a free country” and should be allowed to do whatever they please. In response, it is selfish and inconsiderate for one not to wear a mask simply because it is hard to breathe. One should consider others health and well-being to keep everyone safe and slow the spread of disease, not being ignorant and ignoring those around you. School wise, I do not believe that we should return to school. Yes, we would love to continue sports for the fans and have church continuously, but as for the bigger picture, as a country, we need to take things more seriously with precautionary measures. There are still events where social distancing is not enforced, masks are not worn, and contact with other people is frequent. What would you expect at a high school football game now or service for mass when the spread is at its peak? As for restaurants, it is easier to control outside by distancing the tables, deeply washing utensils, and maintaining social distance. Lastly, the responsibility on who prevents COVID-19 from spreading is us, the individual. We know what we do daily that might make us susceptible to the disease, having in thought of self-control and not to risk our health. We, like other countries, should put others before ourselves and as Americans stop misusing the action of free-will.
Returning to School: Rocco, 15, Bellarmine College Preparatory, USA
COVID 19 started in March, it would come to be one of the worst pandemics I will ever live through in my entire life. A lot has changed since the start of the virus and to now such as school. Back at school now we are separated from our teachers and friends by a sheet of plexiglass dividers to ensure our safety. What I enjoyed most about school before COVID was that I could see peoples smiling faces. But now everyone must wear a mask which is disappointing. At school also there is duct tape on the ground showing you where to walk to ensure that you are staying 6 ft apart. Even at break or walking to the car you must always stay 6 feet from others. In my opinion I think the new changes are annoying. First off everyone must wear masks and that is a bummer. I cannot really see people’s expressions on their faces anymore. Which makes it very hard to talk to people. Also, masks tend to get in the way of speaking when they are on your face for a long time, so you must talk in a louder manner. The one thing I was hoping is that when we went back to school, was that we would not have to wear masks but that is not the case. Also, over the summer I was crossing my fingers that COVID would pass and I would get to see everyone again. But now with the times we live in we are doing school from home and do not get to see our friends a lot.
In what I know of the virus COVID spreads when you are not social distancing and not wearing masks. The only way to decline the virus from spreading is to social distance and make sure that everyone is wearing masks in public places. But everyone needs to commit, or this virus will be around for a longer time then it needs to be. Also, the faster people recognize that this is one of the only ways right now that we could contribute, I would hope more people are following the guidelines in order to get back to normal.
As sports are coming back slowly and we can train in small pods. I do not think right now would a good idea if sports and large group gathering were going back right now. But if everyone does their part then I would say in 1 to 2 months everyone should be going back to school and sports. But it is all dependent on what people are willing to do to help this virus pass. If people are not willing to help others, then they are hurting not just themselves but business and other people. During COVID from the start to now small businesses have been hurting the most. In my opinion I believe restaurants should be able to do whatever helps their business, but it must follow the COVID guidelines. If they have to upgrade their air filters for people to eat inside, then they should keep their doors open. Like I said everyone must commit and be responsible for themselves to make sure they are following the guide. It is upon the people on this planet to follow the rules to get back to normal.
Before COVID I went to separate schools from my friends and it was rough for me. But now I can see my friends and family a lot more. So, what I have been doing during COVID to interact with people and stay within the guidelines is doing sports teams socially distanced, having dinner every night with my family and working out with my brothers. Also, me and my friends started a fantasy league and we were all on a facetime call while doing the draft. It was nice to see them again since I have not seen them a lot since the beginning of COVID. Also, I am sure everyone is ready for this virus to end and go back to normal. So, make sure to stay within the guidelines so me and you can go back to how things used to be without COVID.
Returning to School: Ryan, 15, Bellarmine College Preparatory, USA
My name is Ryan, I am a 15-year-old sophomore at Bellarmine. COVID has had a large impact on my daily life, including school. Last year, while we were stuck at home in the final months, didn’t have as large of an impact on me as it did this year. We were all adjusting to this new style of learning and were given a bit of an easier way out and having less work to do, and going over content at a slower pace. However, this year, the pace has picked back up and is going as fast as ever. Without anyone watching, paying attention has become difficult, knowing I could easily slack off, and all responsibilities have been placed on me to do my best. This has been hard on me, but I know in the long run this experience will only help me grow and become more of an adult. I have been working hard on keeping up with online learning and straying away from all distractions. I hope that even when the year gets tough, I can continue to do my best and try my hardest at everything I do, despite these odd circumstances. As much as going back to school would eliminate these distractions, I don’t wish to go back soon. I believe that we need to take COVID more seriously and do a strict 2-week quarantine.
We have seen results in other countries who have already done things like these and I hope that we will eventually realize the severity of what is going on and act on it. For the time being, while we are allowed to go out, I believe masks should be required and that almost all excuses are invalid. You wear one to protect others, not yourself. If you have bad breathing, then don’t go out in the first place. You can get your essentials through DoorDash and grocery delivery services. Restaurants should not have indoor or outdoor seating and do take out only. I see places like Santana Row, and there are dozens of people all eating there, without masks. I think that is not smart whatsoever and that this should be banned. Restaurants likely would not lose money if they did this, and even if they did, safety over money.
Returning to School: Shay, 15, Bellarmine College Preparatory, USA
As I head into my sophomore year for my high school in 2020, I expected this year to be a lucky year as it was a leap year and the Olympics were taking place this year. This has been a big change from my ordinary life with going to school and being there physically in the classroom. Some changes that I have experienced in my “return” to school was that it was harder to learn virtually because we have distractions and it is harder to understand the concepts to be there physically. Also, there are a lot of wireless problems and internet problems that are very likely to happen when we go on a team’s call. Furthermore, we receive more homework and we are forced to watch the screen for 5-6 hours of our day. Some of the pros of not being there physically is we start later by 1 hour and we can feel comfier in our room. My drive to the school takes a little under than an hour so this new change helps me feel less tired when I wake up. I was hoping for school to cut us a little bit of slack and give us less homework because it is very hard to learn through this pandemic.
I think we should all wear masks in public areas and that we should socially distance and stay 6 feet apart. You can never be too safe so we should wear masks to protect not only ourselves but the people around us. Socially distancing and staying 6 feet apart can help us not breathe any germs that other people have. We should be quarantined for the most part but if we must go get supplies/groceries then it would be fine if we wear masks and socially distance. I think that we should not return to school with large gatherings, mass, and sports until we are fully cleared of the virus. Restaurants should be allowing indoor seating but have social distancing in between each table. For example, if the temperature was super-hot and there was only outdoor seating it would be uncomfortable sitting outside. Overall, I think that we should wear masks in public areas and socially distance if we are outside during this quarantine.