Staying Connected Throughout the 2020-2021 Virtual School Year

Alexus Loera, reporter

How has quarantine affected you? Do you miss your friends, maybe even your family? If you keep in touch with friends and family how often do you check up on them?

These are all questions relevant to our new reality.

According to Youki Terada, “The Covid-19 pandemic may worsen existing mental health problems and lead to more cases among children and adolescents because of the unique combination of the public health crisis, social isolation, and economic recession.”

The need for social interaction and human connection is in high demand. Whether it be as simple as a text message or a phone call can make a huge difference in times of adversity.

Students, teachers, and parents alike have been affected by the pandemic in many ways.

Senior Nolan Turner said, “Quarantine has damaged me financially because it laid me off from my job for months and I am still struggling to get shifts at the moment.”

This alone can be devastating and not being able to interact with people face to face can take a toll especially when going to work might have been the only time Turner could have gotten face-to-face interaction. Turner hasn’t let that get in the way of his relationships and he even said that he keeps in touch with friends and family through, “text message, phone call, or facetime.”

Being able to communicate safely with friends and family is extremely important in times like these and many students have found fun and creative ways to keep in touch.

Senior Elshaday Yirdaw said, “I keep in touch with my close friends daily. We FaceTime, text, and work on homework together. However, with the friends I wasn’t close with, I keep in touch with them only once in a while when something comes up. I don’t contact them for no reason like I do with my close friends.”

Even keeping in touch with acquaintances is valuable. You can use multiple platforms such as Zoom, Google Meet, and Skype to facetime with friends and family and play games such as virtual escape rooms, movie nights using Netflix or Hulu party, Kahoot, and so much more. Online meeting platforms have had a spike in participants Zoom has increased to 200 million users daily, Google Meet has increased to 100 million daily users, and Skype has 40 million users daily.

Don’t let this distance discourage you from having a good time and keeping up with friends and family. Staying connected is crucial to your mental health and well being especially in times of hardship.

Seniors (photographed left to right) Hela Biruk, Alexis Guadian, and Christian Johnson are staying connected by having lunch together safely using the facetime app Duo.

Photo Credit: Alexus Loera

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