COVID-19: the cause of so many losses and changes in the year 2020.
ECHS students and teachers give their best guess as to how COVID-19 will affect the rest of the 2020/21 school year.
To combat the spread of the coronavirus as well as keep as much community as possible, Eastern Christian decided to have the 2020/21 school year with the option to either be in person everyday or online everyday. In-person senior Brian Schaaf believes that “We’re at a point now in New Jersey where we can control the spread with the right precautions that the school is capable of executing.” Consistency is an important aspect for school in-person senior Karissa Kuperus, and she is glad the school opened up again. She values the community, something that is difficult to find through a computer screen. The online option, however, “is also great for those who don’t feel comfortable enough to come back to school yet,” says Brian.
As excited as students are to be in the flesh, there will be many missed opportunities. In-person sophomore Yanay Pope gives her opinion on the rest of the year: “I think the rest of the year won't be as ‘fun’ as the years past. I say this because all of the fun gatherings (like Homecoming, Dances, Musicals, etc.) either won't be able to happen or will be able to happen but in ways that take the fun away.” Yet, Brian is optimistic: “...maybe we’ll make up for it in other ways. It’s a new learning experience for all of us and I’m sure we’ll each learn something from it.”
Masks, cleaning, and social distancing are going to become a “new normal,” according to Karissa. Online learning, students believe, will probably stick around for a while. Math teacher Mr. Ian Zacharias is hopeful that more opportunities will present themselves with online learning. For example, students could potentially join the EC learning community from other states. Outdoor time will probably become more permanent, too.
Predictions for when the school will become completely normal, however, vary among students. Some believe the “old normal” will return by the end of the school year, and others think it will be closer to the 2021/22 school year.
Mr. Zacharias relies on a vaccine: “If nothing changes on the medical front, why should anything else change?” Students are hopeful that a vaccine will present itself in the near future. As Karissa stated, “Some day for sure. Hopefully sooner rather than later.”