Isolation is the New Lifestyle

Senior+Meadow+Vigil+logs+into+Echo+on+her+Chromebook+to+complete+her+assignments+for+the+day.+The+district+moved+to+an+%22asynchronous%22+model+of+remote+learning%2C+where+students+were+not+forced+to+follow+a+strict+schedule+to+complete+work.

Photo provided by Meadow Vigil

Senior Meadow Vigil logs into Echo on her Chromebook to complete her assignments for the day. The district moved to an "asynchronous" model of remote learning, where students were not forced to follow a strict schedule to complete work.

Meadow Vigil, Reporter

The COVID-19 pandemic has made a big impact on the world in a short amount of time and has made quite a few people rethink the importance of face-to-face interaction.

Last week, Jeffco Public Schools announced that remote learning would continue through the end of the school year, making technology the primary way to learn and interact with teachers and other students. Students have reported feeling stressed and swamped with work they aren’t able to comprehend or understand over a screen. Many cite the face-to-face interaction as important to their understanding.

“It’s harder to keep your grades up and to learn new subjects when the teachers aren’t there to just walk up to and ask questions or sort things out,” senior Evelyn Carrillo Estrada said.

However, the statewide stay-at-home order, which was recently extended until Apr. 26, has allowed for some more personal interactions outside of school life.

“Although the COVID-19 thing has been hectic, I feel like it’s brought my family and I closer with each other, which is a good thing,” Carrillo Estrada said.

While staying at home may promote connection or reconnection within a living space, the need for human interaction and for activity in the outside world has left some people feeling isolated or lonely, especially considering how quickly it was taken away.

“I have started to feel pretty sad because I haven’t been able to go and do things I loved doing, like hanging out with friends, going out to eat, shopping and so on,” junior Sophia Nichols said. “Being a person who loves doing these things on the daily makes things very depressing.”

And, the effects of highly limited in-person interaction are not reserved to academic or social arenas. The retail and service industries, which rely on interpersonal relationships, have also been greatly impacted, leading many students to lose their jobs or be put on furlough.

Still, those people are expected to pay for their bills, groceries, food and rent without having the means to do so. Some may qualify for unemployment, but applying for and receiving those benefits has become more difficult because of the amount of people applying at the same time.

Another option for unemployed or furloughed individuals has been to find work that does not involve face time with others.

“Since the pandemic started, I’ve been marked as unemployed at my job at the movie theater,” Mackenzi Saavedra, senior at Pomona High School, said. “Since I’ve obviously had plenty of time to think, I started working at home online through Audible by reading the books and recording myself.”

While students have begun to adjust to isolation, the fast-sweeping changes to daily life and the school calendar, including canceling prom and postponing graduation, has left students craving some sort of stability.

“Everyone just wants things to go back to normal,” Carrillo Estrada said.