by Abbie Altenafirstname.lastname@example.org
Online classes, lots of extra family time, losing work, and staying home have all affected PC students and families during this pandemic. PC students are navigating what COVID-19 looks like to them.
E-learning began on Monday, March 30, for all Pella Christian classes. Overall, students have felt that they are getting the right amount of work to do, although one third of the students think that there has been too much work. However a main issue students seem to be dealing with has been time management and motivation. “The hardest part of online school for me is staying motivated. My attention span is really short. I also get awful headaches from all the time spent on the online assignments (looking at a screen too much),” said one junior.
Along with the classroom setting change, most students have felt the effects of not being around their friends and teachers everyday. “I really miss seeing everyone everyday – teachers, friends, even the people I never talk to but pass in the halls,” said senior Emily Van Beek.
Junior Piper King feels the same. “I miss just being around people because eating lunch by myself or with my brothers isn’t the same as having a table full of people,” she said.
Other students have appreciated being able to do school at their own pace. “I enjoy not spending so much time on school. Online school is like regular school and summer had a baby. I am able to work, spend time outdoors, and workout, although I am missing morning lifting with the boys tremendously,” said senior Tate Osborn.
With school being at home, students have been spending a copious amount of time with their families. While most have appreciated the change in being together with cleared schedules, others have found that their families are getting to know each other a little too well. “Now that we’re all spending more time with each other, we are finding out the trigger points of everyone a lot sooner than if we still had a normal schedule,” said sophomore Marie Johnson.
Many families have had to adjust to so many activities being cancelled. “My family hasn’t been impacted too much besides being home all the time. There’s a lot of little things that have accumulated though, like no Tulip Time, no March Madness, and no spring sports that have left us disappointed,” said junior Elizabeth Brouwer.
The economic impact of Coronavirus has also been felt. While a little over 50% of PC families have not lost any work due to COVID-19, over 40% of students have either lost work themselves or seen one or both of their parents lose work. This pandemic has been especially challenging for families with small businesses. “My mom isn’t at work physically, but she is doing research all day on what she should be applying for and on the phone all day trying to figure out what is best for her employees,” said sophomore Trinity Vos.
Some families with healthcare workers have had to work extra hours to figure out how to best keep people safe. “My mom works in human resources at the Pella hospital, and she has spent a little more time there, especially as they were trying to figure out what to do, and it’s just been much busier for her,” said one senior.
While only a handful of students personally know someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, most have taken extra precautions due to susceptibility, possible symptoms, and travel. Two students know nurses that have been working with COVID-19 patients who ended up developing the virus themselves, resulting in quarantine and strong symptoms. “A family friend of ours lives in Illinois, and when she had it, she said the headache was so bad that she just had to lay still in bed and not move at all, because it hurt so much. She was never tested, but she is a nurse, and one of her patients tested positive for Covid-19. Now she is doing better,” said one senior.