How is COVID-19 Affecting High School Students?

A student’s view on distance learning and COVID expectations

Lauren Lokken, Staff Writer

We all know that COVID-19 has been a big change to students. Having social distancing rules and reducing the amount of contact we have with the outside world during this time gets really challenging. In an interview with freshman Ella Duggan, she tells us her story. 

Do we ever get a break? 

Sports have been a source of release for Duggan, as her family continues to implement harsh safety procedures. “I am limited to hanging out with one friend,” said Duggan. 

Duggan plays soccer. She and her team are taking many Covid-19 related precautions while playing. Though Duggan has revealed that as she is not allowed to hang out with more than one friend, her soccer team gives her a chance to socialize with other friends. Because Duggan’s father, Patrick Duggan, is a parapalegic, the risk of catching COVID-19 increases as the amount of cases increases in the area. Duggan is required to always wear a mask, have hand sanitizer on-hand, and perform slightly more drastic social distancing measures. 

“Hanging out with friends really helps take my mind off stuff like school and other stressors,” Duggan states.

How has distance learning affected students? 

Though students are not in school face-to-face, is the learning environment the same? Does distance learning affect one’s grades? “Distance learning and Covid-19 haven’t really affected my mental health negatively,” said Duggan. Though other students may not have had the same experience, Duggan seems to have kept herself busy during quarantine. 

How could distance learning be changed? 

Duggan has six classes every day with a workload of about nine assignments each day. She says that if distance learning was limited to only “one source of education,” then it would make assignments easier to finish. As of right now, there are 3 different grading systems as well as 2 different places teachers are posting work. Teachers also use various video call platforms. Limiting video calls to only one source (i.e. Zoom or Microsoft Teams) would be easier for students. 

“I have three teachers using Zoom and three using Teams,” said Duggan. “It gets hard to be there on time when I have to constantly log into different websites for class. It just makes everything much more difficult.”