Students across the Bay Area feel socially isolated in quarantine

By Elizabeth Hall and Kaashika Raut

Staff Writers

When it comes to how students are handling online school, Wilcox High School freshman Kaitlyn Lee stated that Wilcox simply wasn’t prepared to close and had to delay the start of online school until a week into the shelter in place order. “They should give more information to the students about what’s going to happen,” she said. “We don’t know what online school is going to be like at all, so we’re very apprehensive.” 

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Wilcox freshman Kaitlyn Lee (red jacket) PHOTO CREDIT: Anne Lee

With the recent spread of the coronavirus, formally known as COVID-19, the state of California has ordered all schools to close for a period of time. Now, students must learn through virtual classes, which include video calls and online courses. Since the shelter-in-place order has been in effect, citizens are not allowed to leave their homes, except for essential trips outside.

Most, if not all, students are used to interacting with peers and teachers daily. Lee said that in-person interactions were a huge part of her school life, and she misses her friends.

“I feel depressed, I need social interaction with people other than my family. So I’ve been FaceTiming a lot. Although it doesn’t replace face-to-face contact with my friends, it’s still better than not talking to them for three weeks,” Lee said.

Lee described her new daily routine as “sleeping in really late into the morning, then laying around and watching YouTube for hours on end.” This kind of daily routine is new to her since Lee is an avid fencer. 

“I’m not getting enough exercise from home practice, that’s my main concern right now,” Lee said. This is a common problem most people stuck inside are facing, since all gyms, sports centers and recreational gatherings have been shut down.

Lee did say that she isn’t worried about missing school at all, a feeling very common among her peers and students at other schools. “I can always just study on my own since a lot of things are online,” she said. “I’m more worried about my fencing.”

However, if schools are closed for longer than the original three-week span, students will definitely fall behind in their studies, which wouldn’t be good at all, since they could enter their next year of high school unprepared, she added.

Despite the Bay Area being under a shelter-in-place order, Lee says that there’s a lot for her to do. “I can go out and run, I can FaceTime friends, I watch a lot of videos and sometimes I study. There’s a lot for me to do at home that I wouldn’t normally have the time to do if I had school and extracurriculars.” 

“The shelter-in-place is both a blessing and a curse,” she concluded. “I can’t see my friends, but there’s a silver lining. I can work a lot faster, and accomplish more during the shelter-in-place than I would during three weeks of school.”

See related:

Schools shut down, Bay Area under shelter-in-place order as coronavirus spreads

What teachers think about school closure due to COVID-19

Coronavirus prompts massive changes

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