Impact of COVID-19 on Youth

Adjusting to life at home

How the Coronavirus has affected my everyday life.

By: Oliver Niehaus

As of one week ago, I was in school. From the date in which I'm writing, it was Friday the 13th of March. School as usual. Preparing for AP US History, studying for the vocabulary test I'd end up never having. Life was completely normal. That was until an announcement came over the loudspeaker during 5th-hour announcing school would be closing for the next four weeks. There were indeed mixed reactions. We could hear classrooms next to ours let out a burst of cheers and excitement. However, most of my classmates were in shock. This was a school that hadn't had a snow day all year. That made us go to school the previous year when it was -25 wind chill. In order to cancel school for an entire month, this had to be very serious. I'll admit I was a little relieved, life was quite hectic with many different classes requiring demanding tasks that aren't always the most enjoyable. But by and large, this is an unfortunate situation. I had just auditioned for the spring play, worked hard and rehearsed for months with our choir for a concert that had been canceled the night before. This sucked. What about summer camps and AP testing and Prom! But I soon began to realize how lucky I was. The worries and concerns I had were so-called "extras." Not once did I worry about if I would have a place to live or food to eat. Or if I'd be able to afford treatment if I happened to get the virus. I live a life others could only dream of. So that is why I don't complain or become frustrated if I can't do what I want. I have the privilege of always having what I need to survive, and so much more. So if you're reading this and you find yourself in a similar position to mine, don't feel bad that you have resources and options others don't. But instead, view things through a lens of empathy and understanding. Help out a neighbor if they need your help shopping because they are high risk. My family stocked up on many canned goods in case of an extended quarantine, but hope that this was not needed and will most likely end up donating these goods when it's all over. But most importantly, STAY HOME! Even if you're young and healthy and probably won't die if infected, you risk spreading it to others. This is about more than just you. So have fun! Read a book, watch that TV show you've been dying to watch but haven't had the time. This is honestly a much-needed break for a lot of people so use it to relax and do your part to help slow the spread of the virus.

I’m Not The Only One That’s F*cked Over

By: Charlotte Steiger

God. I wish I was privileged enough to ignore it. It all started when my stockbroker of a mother realized the stock market was plummeting. With her past of alcoholism, it was no surprise to me to hear from my brother that my mom would become the daily drunk again. Over and over and over. I won’t dwell on that part. We’re leading into a recession, I’m reminded, which means jobs will be laid off. From one airline company laying off 20k employees to Google potentially laying off hundreds to thousands more, family households like mine will inevitably become unstable. Recession has a long term impact and will hurt the job market. The economy and unemployment percentage will take a long time to recover and will be dependent on strategic economic policies. And that was only day one. Day two and more consisted of a decrease in social hangouts and an increase in saving the money I’d usually spend on coffee or Thai food. I’ll walk into the places that were once crowded and realize everyone is too paranoid to leave their house. Malls, grocery stores, beaches, and parking lots are completely deserted. My friends have all had to quit their jobs because of the virus. 17 cases in my county alone, but only *one* in my main city. I don’t know how to feel beyond disbelief. We’ve had to adjust so fast, especially to the lockdown that was put into effect last night. Nobody is allowed to leave their homes in the state of California unless it’s for something essential. On top of that, AP testing is being adjusted so students like me are forced to take the tests at home for college credit. It costs hundreds to take the tests, and because of the virus, some colleges won’t even accept the tests anymore because they’re at home. My school district can’t do online schooling because it’s out of budget… so let’s hope they end up allowing refunds for the tests! In conclusion, we’re f*cked. I believe our generation will learn something from this as the Millennials also changed ways when 9/11 happened. In a sense, this is our tragic 9/11 that’s happening.

Pictured below is Pacific View Mall in Ventura County, California. Due to the Governor's order declaring that non essential businesses must remain closed, this mall is one of many that are empty.

An Open Letter to the Class of 2020

By: Erin Pease

With all of the wildness of our world at the moment, I decided to write a collection of what myself (and many people, especially seniors across the world) feel right now. There are hardships happening across the world right now and I am sending out love to all who need it most, no matter what you are facing.

-An open letter to the Class of 2020-

As you sit here, take deep breaths. Realize you might not get to sit in that desk again. You might not eat lunch at a table with the group you’ve been with since age four while cramming in a study session before your test next period. There’s a chance you might not get to finish out your duties in any of your clubs, extra-curriculars, or activities. A possibility you may not get to see yourself or your best friends finish out their final season of sports. You might not get to dance at your last prom or get all dressed up with your group one more time.

There could be no more waving and laughing in the hallways as you pass the classmates that you’ve held close for as long as you can remember.

Maybe you won’t get to go on that college tour and prepare yourself for the place you’ll call home for the next chapter of your life. You might not even get the chance to walk across the gymnasium that holds your best memories and get handed a sheet of paper that you’ve dreamed of framing for the last 12+ years.

We are all truly grateful to live in a place that’s biggest concern is the safety of it’s residents, and are grateful that precautions are being taken. The Class of 2020 has been one that has remained optimistic, prideful, and classy since they have entered the world. So, what’s the one piece of advice I think we’d all share with you? Don’t take it for granted. Any of it. The long nights of studying, the blood and sweat of your athletic career, the laughs shared at Homecoming, the one class you can’t wait to complete, or the class you wish would go on forever. We recognize the privilege it is to be able to even have these opportunities in the first place, though it makes it even harder when there is a chance of it being stripped away. Please stay home and stay safe. Remember that health is what’s most important right now. Make this school closure worth it for the kids and staff that want nothing more than to be back in that classroom. Think about the seniors in your life, the athletes, performers, the staff who can’t see their students and do what they love most, those trying to make ends meet without a solid place of income right now, the people facing the tough choice to close the things that they’ve worked hardest for, anyone struggling mentally or physically with the spread of this virus, the kids who may be struggling with this time of quarantine for more reasons than you know. Use social media for good. Video chat your loved ones and ask if they need anything. Take a minute to look up some AMAZING things that are happening in the world this very second, because there are so many. Don’t forget the good actions that people are showcasing too. Check in on each other. Love each other. Spread kindness during this time where we need it most. Take it from the Class of 2020, make each day count. Cherish each second you are blessed with no matter what, where, or when. It is together, through unified strength, that we rise.

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