COVID-19: A Look Back

Students reflect on their life during quarantine


Merit Onyekwere

Infographic by Merit Onyekwere

Gavin Orsi

It has been one year since Bear Creek’s “extended spring break” began last March when the COVID-19 pandemic hit.  The isolation caused by the COVID lockdown has had life-changing effects on the population and the Bear Creek community is no exception.  From having to attend school through distance learning, to the cancelling of sports, to having to care for siblings during the school day, many students had to make a serious transition to the “quarantine lifestyle.” 

  Before COVID, students were in the habit of waking up early to get to school on time, but during distance learning many students woke up just before class started and attended from the comfort of their bed— or didn’t attend school at all.  

“I be waking up, and then I just be logging on the class and then going on the bed to take a snooze,” senior Matthew Gromia said.  “Once class ends, I just walk up to the computer and press leave meeting. I didn’t participate in any clubs or sports because I lost motivation.”  Before the COVID lockdown, Gromia said he would “go to school, hang out with the homies, [and] do tennis practice.”

Other students have made more of an effort to maintain a daily schedule close to pre-COVID times. Senior Lanchai Thao said that since being locked down, “other than actually going in person to school, my daily life is the same, minus tennis.”

Another change students have experienced is in their social circles, as many admit that they gave up trying to maintain close relationships during quarantine. 

“My life has changed socially because I have not talked to many people,” junior Nathan Nguyen said, adding that he feels he has “lost many strong bonds with [his] friends over the break.”

Students not only have been forced to cope with the switch to distance learning, but also have experienced many changes in the school system such as online AP exams, and new requirements for SATs and college admissions.  In 2020, the University of California, alongside a handful of private universities like Cornell and Dartmouth, announced that they would not require SAT scores for admissions, even for the students who hadn’t had their exam cancelled due to the pandemic.  Instead, colleges are putting more emphasis on the personal essay. 

“I think colleges should make scores optional, not removed completely,” senior Luke Fry said.  “Students who took the test should be able to have colleges look at their scores, and students who couldn’t take the test should not be harmed by colleges’ acceptance of said scores.”

Additionally, this past year has hosted many memorable, important events.  The shutdowns, Black Lives Matter protests, the riot at the Capitol accompanied by Trump’s second unsuccessful impeachment trial, the 2020 election, and the more recent development of a vaccine for COVID are just a few of the most memorable events from the past year that have impacted the nation. 

In spite of all the changes, some students remain optimistic. 

“I think for the world as a whole, it was when the vaccine was created for COVID that made us more hopeful,” senior Nalina Kas said.

Contributors: Autumn Kong, Troung-Ahn Nguyen-Tan, Beautiful Armstrong