By Samantha Hsiung
Illustration by Samantha Hsiung
Anyone who is not living under a rock knows about COVID-19 – the recent pandemic that has caused schools all across California to shut down. Other protocols, such as self-quarantines and social distancing, have also been put in place in order to prevent further proliferation of the virus. While some schools, such as Pinewood, have maintained learning through online school, there is one major setback: students will be unable to see each other for a long period of time.
To Pinewood students, friends are an important part of not only their high school experience but also their lives. It is who they spend countless hours with every day, and not being around them for a while makes them feel like something is missing.
“[I miss how my friends and I] always had lunch together and would talk … it was nice to be able to take a break from the day to be with [them],” freshman Seika Oelschig said.
Fortunately for Oelschig, even during this crisis, she has found other ways to talk with her friends.
“I [have been] getting on voice chats with friends to play video games and just have a fun time. It is a weird time right now, but I still feel like I have good ways of contacting them,” Oelschig said.
Freshman Mitali Vasudevan has also been staying in touch with her classmates. On Pinewood’s first WISCR Wednesday, she was able to participate in a game of Mafia with other freshmen through Zoom.
“It was so nice to interact with my peers in a fun, non-classroom setting. I’ve also made sure to call my friends and stay in touch. We do fun activities together, from ab workouts to learning Tik Tok dances, as well as talking and catching up,” Vasudevan said.
Most of the freshmen, such as Oelschig and Vasudevan, have been responding well to the quarantine due to the fact that they will have three more years to spend with their classmates. On the other hand, many seniors have been devastated over not being able to enjoy time with their classmates.
“[After] years of [strenuous work] and we don’t get to walk across the stage and celebrate our last year together,” senior Miranda Wiener said.
However, in light of the situation, she and her classmates have been using Zoom, Netflix Party, Game Pigeon, and iMessages to make sure that they all stay connected. Among these, one of her favorites is Netflix Party. It is an extension that allows users to watch the same show or movie at the same time, and there is a chat room on the side that users can chat in.
“So far we’ve seen Groundhog Day, and we’re planning more,” Wiener said.
Like Wiener, Sophomore Magnolia Lemmon has also been frequently talking with her friends. She has been FaceTiming them every day, and it reminds her of how much she misses being able to connect with people in real life instead of through a screen.
“There’s something about being together into the same room that makes you feel connected to a person,” Lemmon said. “Although it’s rough, I’m glad to know I’m not the only one going through this and I am happy to do what it takes if this keeps everybody safe.”