Our Childhood Challenges and Changes

Facing High School through a Pandemic

Our Childhood Challenges and Changes

Charlize McDaniel, Senior Writer

From seniors who lost their freshman year to freshmen whose last year of elementary school got cut short, the Covid-19 pandemic took a lot from students. Starting in early 2020, the pandemic swept across the world in a matter of weeks. Death tolls and reported cases skyrocketed daily, and America struggled to control the virus for the next year to come. Businesses were lost, along with family members and loved ones, and shortage of supply spread worldwide. The pandemic changed the world and the people living through it. 

“It affected me pretty hard, when we first went on lockdown my GPA dropped and decreased my chances of getting into the college I want,” Senior Leilani Lanz said when asked how the Covid-19 epidemic affected her. “Then, near the end of last year my whole family got covid and I was out for a couple of weeks. I only came back for the last few days of school,” Along with all 2023 seniors, Leilani spent part of her freshman year in lockdown. At the start of the lockdown there were only a few reported cases of Covid-19 in Michigan that later grew to over 17,000 reported cases a day.

Now, over two years later, Michigan reported over 14,000 new cases and 160 deaths due to the Covid-19 virus. According to MSN, Michigan still reports over 1,600 cases daily. Since the start of the pandemic there have been more than 35,000 confirmed deaths due to the virus in Michigan, and around 385,000 total cases. “My grandma has passed due to the pandemic, and I have a shortage of breath if I do too much from when I had Covid-19,” sophomore Emily said. “When I run or sing too long my breath tends to run out faster than it used to in the past years,” she continued. 

Recently, on Sunday, September 18, President Joe Biden went on an interview with the show “60 Minutes”. He made a few conversational takes during this interview, but one has Americans split and confused. “The pandemic is over,” Biden said in his interview when asked about the virus that has killed more than 1 million Americans. “We still have a problem with Covid. We’re still doing a lot of work on it. It’s – but the pandemic is over.” Biden said during the interview. Despite this claim, according to CNN, the US Government still declares Covid-19 a Public Health Emergency. According to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention, many Americans are vaccinated, but more than half have not received their booster. Along with this, scientists are still unsure with the new stands of the coronavirus and the public is weary about vaccinating children.

Seniors Jenell Samo and Leilani Lanz reacted negatively to Biden’s claims, disagreeing that the pandemic is over for Americans. “Yeah… No, it’s not. I know two people that just recently had it— Like the cases definitely went down but people are still getting Covid,” Samo said.

Lanz agreed with Samo. “No, because my grandmother is hospitalized right now fighting both pneumonia and Covid— And hospitals still have sections of the hospital full of only covid patients,” Lanz said.  As seniors who lived through high school during the pandemic, it’s clear some feel weary about the president’s statement. All UCS students spent the first few months of their 2020-2021 school year learning virtually at home due to the extended Michigan lockdown. Some students have not returned yet to in-person learning, still safely learning from home.

Even if some claim the pandemic has come to an end, some still have nerves when it comes to the virus. This epidemic has affected UCS students in all different ways, some positive, most negative. Years later, students and teachers alike have all come to learn something from the pandemic. “It taught me the different ways my brain focuses on what I’m doing in different workspaces. I lacked a lot of subjects when I worked from home, but I focused a lot more when I was in person,” Samo said. Although thoughts on the pandemic being over are conflicted, it has still seemed to have a mark on students’ childhood.