Divide Caused by The Pandemic in Schools

Photo+by+Sophie+Downs

Photo by Sophie Downs

Ever since COVID-19 hit the world like a brick in 2020, everything we once considered normal has shifted. Social interaction as a whole was permanently impacted. Most people feel wrong when not wearing a mask or face shield, “I got used to seeing people from the mask up. I adapted to reading their eyes, and now that masks are off it’s strange, but good, to see everyone’s faces again.” -Mrs.Pratt.

If it wasn’t already obvious, schools have suffered greatly all throughout the nation due to this blow. An article done by Megan KuhfeldJim SolandBeth TarasawaAngela JohnsonErik Ruzek, and Karyn Lewis talks about the effects COVID-19 has had on student’s academic success, “A smaller proportion of students demonstrated positive math growth in the 2020 period than in the 2019 period for all grades.”

As if the rapid decline in graduation and academic success rates wasn’t enough, teenager’s mental health also took a turn for the worst. “In Europe, Australia, and North America, have shown an increase in the incidence of eating disorder behaviors or diagnoses in the community, or deterioration of eating disorders in patient populations, often with more severe symptoms and comorbidities since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.” Another article on depression rates says, “Nearly three in 10 say their child is “already experiencing harm” to their emotional or mental health because of social distancing and closures.”

MHS students seem to agree that learning virtually was a challenge. According to 10th grader Damion Leonard, “I learn better in person, it was hard to grasp concepts or get help with things I didn’t understand.” Not only were students faced with new stressors and expectations, but so were teachers. Mr.Thuet says, “I began teaching right as we went to virtual learning. Connecting with other teachers, while learning how to be a good teacher was hard.”

It was a lot to learn in so little time, and then to be dragged away from it all right after getting comfortable caused an increased anxiety amongst students. It wasn’t official whether or not in-person learning would continue, so many people gave up in a sense. “I was nervous about coming back to in person school again, we had all been away for so long I wasn’t sure how it’d go,” states Ian Creery, 11th grade.

In conclusion, the pandemic has, and is continuously changing the world as we know it. How do you feel about these changes?