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The Beacon

The Student Newspaper of MAST Academy, since 1991.
The Student News Site of MAST Academy

The Beacon

The Beacon

Coronaversary: One year with COVID-19

Graphic by Jorden Demerritte

By Emma Almanza
Staff Writer

It has officially been one year since this seemingly never-ending pandemic sent us into an almost unbearable lockdown and brought with it a variety of changes to society. From the way our education system functions to our social lives and our mental health, this pandemic has affected everything. 

The first of these changes was evident when schools closed down in March of 2020. Because of this, teachers and students began resorting to online platforms such as Zoom, Teams, Edmodo, and others in order to keep teaching their classes. Additionally, teachers have come up with a variety of ways to try and keep classes productive through PowerPoints and educational games. However, this still raises the question of whether or not students are learning online. 

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“It’s certainly been a strange experience teaching online, and though the students are used to learning through powerpoints, by now I’ve noticed they aren’t retaining the material as well as they should be. It’s just too easy to get distracted,” Social Science teacher Genevieve Rossin said.

“While I was online, I felt as though I wasn’t retaining the material as well as I usually do. I couldn’t focus during my Zooms; it was an overall stressful experience,” sophomore Jorge Feijo said. 

Being stuck at home, distanced from friends, and having poor grades can take a mental toll on students, causing anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues.

The stress distance learning puts on students in some instances not only causes lower academic performance but also poor mental health. Being stuck at home, distanced from friends, and having poor grades can take a mental toll on students, causing anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues. 

“At first online school was this new and exciting concept, but as months started to go by I felt my mental health depleting from being alone in my room all day and I think a lot of my peers can relate to that,” senior Antonella Tassi said. 

Though we have managed to come up with ways to keep up with friends through hosting virtual parties or movie nights through Zoom many find the isolation as being too much. According to Pediatrics, the American Academy of Pediatrics’ official journal, there have been higher rates of suicide attempts in people ages 11-21 during this pandemic then in previous years.

These issues may be worse for children and teenagers starting at a new school such as high school freshmen who have not gotten an opportunity to make friends or even enjoy their campus. 

“The worst part in my opinion is making friends,” freshman Milo Ackerman said. “It’s hard not knowing anyone, especially in a class like journalism where I constantly need people for interviews,” he continued. 

Although being stuck at home has been hard, some people like Ackerman have found that it gives them more time to try new hobbies and be productive. 

“I’ve been getting into programming and it helps to have all this time in my hands,” Ackerman said. He is one of the many students that have found that they have been able to focus more on out-of-school activities without the long commutes to and from school.

Overall, this pandemic has brought in many changes, some better than others. Though it seems ceaseless, many hope that the distribution of multiple vaccines will allow our lives to  go back to normal as normal as possible, anyway. 

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Coronaversary: One year with COVID-19