COVID-19 Shutting Down Schools Nationwide

By: Emily Bracher

For everyone in America and many other places in the world, the past few weeks have been different. COVID-19, more likely known as the Coronavirus, has been sweeping into the lives of over a million. This disease attacks the respiratory system, very similar to the flu. Being spread through contact, most towns and cities are on lockdown to avoid human interaction. 

Almost all schools coast to coast are in total shutdown mode, leaving students of all ages at home. Many have the hopes of returning at the beginning of May, some will not be reopening at all based on their local pandemic situation.  Most school districts have turned to the online alternative to make sure that students do not fall behind. Spring sports have also been completely cancelled for many, leaving the athletes behind without a 2020 season.

Two New York City high school seniors, Jeinine Dahli and Manuel (Manny) Corona, both have the possibility of returning April 20th if matters cool down. Being in the most affected area in America, the two are quarantined in their homes. For Manny, who goes to Pace High School, located on the border of Chinatown and the Lower East Side, his soccer season is completely cancelled. When explaining what the area around him looks like, he describes, “Where I’m from, Spanish Harlem, it seems as if it is a regular day. However, if you take a trip downtown, you can see that it is really a ghost town.” 

Jeinine, the other senior who attends Epic High School North in Richmond Hill Queens, exclaims, “Well, we ‘technically’ graduate because we are doing online world, but possibly no real ceremony which sucks because we have worked these past 12 years for this moment and it might not even happen. It also sucks for the other senior activities this year that were supposed to be fun and filled with memories.” 

On the other side of the country, Caspian Packard has gone full online mode. Occidental College, located in Los Angeles California has followed many other schools in sending their students either home or placing them in full virtual schooling in their dorms. Caspian, a freshman, plays baseball for the school. “We were cut less than halfway through our season. I’m working out and continuing to work on my baseball abilities and finishing my term out strong online,” he explains. 

On the opposite coast in Florida, Madison Garcia has also gone home to complete online schooling. Madison is a freshman cheerleader at FSU. “Now that I don’t have cheer practice or mandatory workouts everyday and have to hold myself responsible for staying top of my own skills,” she explains. 

Meanwhile, back in Monroe County, school should resume either April 30th or May 1st if progress remains constant. Online schooling for students began April 1st. All school sites will be providing lunches for all students under 18. Chromebooks have been distributed to those who need them at home in order to access online schooling.

 A senior at Key West High School, Sydney MacDougall expressed her feelings when it comes to the possibility of not graduating,  “It makes me feel a bit upset. I wish we had a formal graduation, it’s like a celebration/turning point in our lives to go and start living in the real world.” 

For more information about Monroe Country schools, visit https://www.keysschools.com/

Key West High School Class of 2020
Photo by:Tara Wood

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