By: Charli Sanchez (12)
Clearly, the year of 2020 has NOT lived up to the expectations we had for it when writing our new year’s resolutions in January, and it’s DEFINITELY not what we had in mind. With changes being thrown at us left and right, it’s a lot to take in. Everyone is fighting their own battles with Covid, just not in the obvious way you may be thinking. Think of everyone: YOU, seniors, your friends, teachers, siblings, and those at higher risk. We have, and are continuing to, be affected by this pandemic, have been thrown some deranged, unexpected curve balls left and right, and are all along for the crazy ride, whether we like it or not.
For many of us, it is safe to say that highschool is four of the best years of someone’s life, and a huge contributor is sports. When thinking of sports, the visions of yelling, toughness, in your face competition, etc, pop up in one’s mind. But masks, hand sanitizer and Clorox wipes, “Making sure you are socially distant,” and having to practice outside, aren’t typically the first things that come to mind. Infact, those might be some of the LAST things that do. Along with that, not having a normal last year of high school sports can be one of the toughest things for a senior athlete to take in. Many people look forward to being a captain their senior year and all of the benefits that come with it. Being a leader and having everyone look up to you, making lots of the big decisions with coaches, BEING a captain, and just having a completely different outlook. “Covid definitely forced me to readjust my outlook on school and sports. I had to realize that my senior year just wouldn’t be what I was expecting, no matter what sport I choose,” states Ellie Irwin, Varsity cheer captain. “I have learned to be thankful for everything that we do get to do this year and to focus on the positives rather than the negatives. I have learned to take it day by day and to focus on making every individual day great. If I get to be at practice/school, I will be thankful and try to make it fun. If I have to stay home, I will try to be optimistic and be understanding of the current situation.” It’s nice to know that some seniors are making the best out of the given situations.
Seniors aren’t the only people who had to make some drastic lifestyle changes. Teachers and those at a higher risk/immunocompromised, have had to make CRAZY adjustments to their everyday routines. “We struggled at home with remote learning in the spring, both as a parent and as a teacher, so I think I appreciate them being able to go a lot more than before,” states my mother, Kelly, EL teacher at East Kentwood. With teaching half of their students online and half in the classroom, things can get complicated and, ironically, messy. So far, “it hasn’t changed much as far as teaching. We clean more but that’s about it.” But, while teachers and students have been thrown for an unexpected school year loop, they aren’t the only ones who have had to make some big changes out of Covid fear. “Because she is already at high risk for any type of infection we made sure to keep everything as clean as possible. We also didn’t let her go around anyone besides who is in our home,” Kelly explains when asked about some changes she had to make being the parent of a high risk child. “I felt anxious and nervous about how I was going to keep up with making sure things were sanitized, making sure we kept our distance from others, how we were physically going to keep our distance from others, and worried that we would need to find things to do to keep from going crazy!!” Being a parent with a child at high risk during this time can be worrisome and really throw parents a huge curveball.
A Covid “psych” can be different for everyone. Some people may be more upset and disappointed about their sports seasons or job changes but, for some people, it may be a bit more serious than that. While some people have to get used to the school/routine changes, Mackenna Tomasweski has to get used to lifestyle changes. “I changed going out in public. I always wear a mask and use hand sanitizer a lot. When I have to meet people, it’s usually outside…I try not to go in public as much as possible…” Covid affects everyone in different ways but for people at higher risk, that is just one more thing to add on to their plate. However, for my 9 year old sister, Brezni, who is at high risk with a heart condition, when asked what makes her sad about corona non-school related, she responds “Staying at home and you couldn’t go to many places, like craigs cruisers and Target and wearing a mask. I don’t like it.” To follow that up, when asked about what made her sad when we had to quarantine, she added “not playing with your friends and going to school.” It is interesting to see how the changes from Covid have different meanings to different people with different situations and different ages.
Covid has “psyched” many people and all in different ways with different lifestyles. It’s nice to hear that everyone was thrown unexpected events and had to make some changes, good or bad, whether they liked it or not but is still making the most of it as best as they can to get a better feeling that we are in this together.