Exploring the “then versus now” of Covid protocols

October 14, 2021

COVID-19  precautions that are taken today are very different from this time around last year. Around this time of 2020 I was sitting at home in front of a computer for about 6-7 hours a day because of remote learning. During the 2020-21 school year, students were given the choice of virtual learning or if students were sick or forced to quarantine they could also do virtual school; meaning the students had to join zooms for classes and keep up as if you’re in person. However, this school year has been much different. There is no choice to participate in remote learning; therefore, if a student has COVID-19 or is being forced to quarantine teachers do not hold zooms for students to keep up with the classes or assessments. The most students can do is try to keep up with what they are given on Canvas.

At the beginning of the school year of 2020-21, I was chosen to be in remote learning and at first I loved it. I mean who wouldn’t? You get to be at home all day, you get to leave certain classes early, and many more freedoms. However, towards the end of my time as a remote student, I absolutely dreaded it. It almost felt as if I was trapped, it was like doing the same thing every. Single. Day. After awhile I didn’t even bother to get ready for virtual school, eat breakfast, sometimes, log onto zoom for 1st block and do the same for the rest of the school day. When doing online school, a lot of teachers explain the content to students then let the virtual students leave to go do their assignments. However based off my experience and many others who experienced online school did the same, I would leave the zoom and when I was supposed to be working on the assignment I was assigned for that class and I would either get distracted by my phone, watch Netfix, or do something else that didn’t even have to do with school. Then by the end of the night I would have tons and tons of school work to do that I was supposed to do during the day but I never did because I was at home and would get distracted. This would cause me to go to bed very late and be extremely tired the next day and it felt as if I was in a never ending cycle. 

At the end of August of this school year I unfortunately tested positive for  COVID-19 and had to quarantine for about two weeks, specifically from August 25-September 11. I had gotten an email that another student in one of my classes had tested positive for COVID-19 the next day. I woke up with a sore throat and at first I did not think anything of it because I constantly get sore throats, but my mom wanted to get me tested just in case. Originally, I was supposed to go to school and get tested after school but thank god I didn’t because my mom decided to keep me home from school and get me rapid tested in the morning. As the nurse walked to my car as I was waiting in the curbside testing line and told me I tested positive I just looked at my mom in awe and thought to myself “Oh my god I caught the ‘deadly virus’ that has changed every single person’s life for over a year.” Since I tested positive for Covid this caused about ten people to be sent home to quarantine for about ten days. Since I tested positive for COVID-19 I unfortunately gave it to one of my friends. She then gave it to her friend who happens to play on the JV volleyball team, which then led to half of the team having to quarantine. Remote learning of the 2021-22 school year is a whole lot different from remote learning for the 2020-21 school year. For this school year, there was not a choice to do online learning so if tested positive or forced to quarantine the students had no zoom to follow. During my quarantine, it was very difficult to keep up with my assignments, one, because I was sick and very tired, and two I could only keep up based on what the teacher posted on Canvas and most teachers this year are doing paper assignments so sometimes I wouldn’t even know of certain assignments. Another struggle was not being able to get in touch with teachers because sometimes the teachers didn’t answer my emails and it got very frustrating because I was so lost with what to do. One last struggle was just being at home in general, for me at least, when I am at home and sick the last thing I want to do is school work. I just wanted to nap and watch Netflix but some teachers were not very understanding and still made me turn in my assignments on time even though I was sick and very behind. Doing online school in the 2021-22 school year is definitely 10x harder than online learning in the 2020-21 school year. 

While being in remote learning this year I wasn’t able to take tests and quizzes while at home so when I couldn’t take the assessments at home teachers put in zeros for them which made my grades drop tremendously. It has been about a month since I tested positive and I am still not fully caught up with my assessments. Wando is also holding Saturday school for students who are behind in school and I ended up going to a session so I could take a test. I didn’t want to go at all but my mom made me, and never in my life did I ever think I would have to go to Saturday school. I am a student who usually has very good grades and keeps up with school work daily. I usually keep As and high Bs as my grades but since I had to be at home for two weeks my grades dropped a large amount and my grades still have not recovered. I am still behind in about 2 of my classes. While doing remote learning last year, my grades were normal and I believe that is because there were zooms being held for students at home and I was also able to take tests and quizzes. Remote learning during the 2021-22 school year is definitely one of the most stressful and draining things I have ever had to do.

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