Seventh graders at Scranton Middle School in Brighton finished their English classes last school year by writing an argumentative essay. This year’s topic was COVID-19 and how to stay safe. Each of the school’s four English teachers submitted one of their student’s essays for publication.
A halt in social distancing may lead to a resurgence in COVID-19
By Abigale Storch
According to a new U.S. consumer survey* conducted by Bospar PR, more than half (55.3%) of Americans are concerned about contracting the novel coronavirus this year. It’s no secret that COVID-19 exists. Whether you are listening to the radio, watching the news, or reading an article just like this one, you are bound to inherit some new information on this global pandemic. From the stay-at-home orders, to pure anxiety of catching COVID-19, we have been quarantined; hiding away in our homes from the virus – or at least we used to be.
Lately, I’ve been noticing some people becoming more lenient in quarantine. The CDC recommends that you stay 6 feet apart and wear a mask even while social distancing. They also suggest that you avoid gatherings of any size outside your household, such as a friend’s house, parks, restaurants, shops, or any other place. However, I’ve been seeing people do quite the opposite lately. I’ve been noticing people hanging out with their friends without masks or proper social distancing. People used to abide by the concept of social distancing, but I think people are starting to ease up. I’m not saying it’s bad to loosen up a little bit, but they are acting like COVID-19 is totally gone. And the truth is, it’s not. According to Michigan.gov, there’s an average of 202 new confirmed cases of the current coronavirus daily in Michigan in addition to 12 daily deaths. Michigan Medicine states that Livingston County has had a total of 391 cases, and 26 deaths due to COVID-19 so far. The key to keeping these cases and deaths down is social distancing. “By keeping as many people at home as possible, they’ve kept the numbers of serious cases of COVID-19 below or just above what hospitals in most areas can handle says Howard Markel, M.D., Ph.D. of the University of Michigan Center for the History of Medicine.” (Michigan Medicine, Gavin 1). The article also states that “Easing up on “social distancing” steps too soon, and too quickly, could give the novel coronavirus a chance to race back into broad circulation, …Serious cases, and deaths, could spike again, and waste all the progress that has been made so far.” (Michigan Medicine, Gavin 1).
I think this is really important to think about. People need to realize that COVID-19 isn’t gone yet, and that we need to keep social distancing. The evidence shows how it’s safer for you and others if you stay home and limit interactions with others. We should do as much as we can to reduce the cases in our county and our state. Social distancing isn’t the most enjoyable thing, but it’s what needs to be done. If we start loosening up and aren’t as serious about quarantining, we may get a second wave of COVID-19. That means more cases, and more deaths which should be avoided at all costs.
The most important way to stay healthy
By Kayla Archey
Taking care to avoid becoming infected with COVID-19 is the only thing you must do to stay healthy during this time, right? Wrong, staying at home can help you avoid COVID-19. However, it’s not the best for your mental health. There are ways to take care of your mental health. One way is self-care. Self-care is a type of activity used to take care of mental, emotional, and physical health. Numerous people see this as unnecessary. Despite this, it is essential. I believe adding self-care to your family’s daily routine is crucial to staying healthy during this pandemic.
According to the Child Mind Institute, children can become anxious by seeing their parents worry. The reason for this is if the parents seem worried, the child will identify the situation as dangerous. Finding ways to cope with your anxiety through self-care is imperative. If you do not, it not only hurts you, but it can also harm your family. Also, the Child Mind Institute states, “When kids are feeling anxious, it may or may not be clear to parents.” As a result, it is not always easy to tell when your child needs help coping. Therefore, when you add self-care to your family’s daily routine, it helps them to cope and de-stress, even when you aren’t aware of their concerns. The Child Mind Institute also writes, “When you prioritize your needs, you’re filling the tank, emotionally and physically, and that means you’ll be in a position to offer comfort and care to others when they need it most.” This confirms that not only does self-care help you to feel good, but it can also aid you in being supportive.
I believe adding self-care to your family’s daily routine is crucial to staying healthy during this pandemic. Many people are feeling sad and lonely during this time. Others are scared and anxious. Some feel all these emotions at once, sometimes even more. So, take action, add self-care to your family’s daily routine to help you and your family improve their mental health.
We should wear masks!
By Derek Dezarov
Remember before when you walked into a grocery store and there were no rules and you could go wherever you wanted to go? Now when you go to a grocery store you have to be 6 feet apart from everyone. You have to follow arrows in the aisles so it will keep everyone in one direction. The reason why you have to follow the arrows is so you’re not facing someone when you walk in the store. Lastly, you have to wear a mask because when you cough you can’t always block it with your arm fast enough. A mask covers your mouth at all times and won’t let your germs spread to other people. Wearing a mask in public will help stop the spread of COVID-19.
Everyone should be able to have and wear a mask. According to the website, Centers for Disease Control, “You can make a low cost mask out of items in your home.” Examples are: an old sock, a paper towel, or even if you have sewing materials. My aunt created 40 masks out of old pieces of fabric she had laying around. Taking your time and making a mask for yourself will protect other people when you are out in public.
Wearing a mask in public will help stop the spread of COVID-19. Going out in public has been scary for me and especially for other people. Going out to places and wearing a mask will help my fears and others too from being scared of getting other people’s germs. If we all take action and wear masks when we’re in public, things will change, and it will ease the spread of COVID-19. We all need to be responsible and wear masks to stop the spread of the virus.
The reality of online school
By Ella Toth
On Thursday, March 12, I happily but sleepily woke up to go to school to see my friends. Today we’re going to celebrate it being Friday by going to the movies after school. I already have my note to ride the bus home with my best friend. Before I leave for the bus, I hear the phone ringing and my sister screaming – No School! Nine weeks later, I’m sinking into a depression. I have been isolated from my social life and I’m lonely. On top of all that, I’m overwhelmed with the online work from school. I’m losing interest in what I used to love. I’m being grouchy to my siblings and I want to be left alone. I know that kids and teens need to be with friends – especially me. I wonder if life will ever get back to normal.
Kids who are impacted by being alone are getting worse because they don’t have a choice. Their free time is becoming less and less from the amount of school work teachers are giving. There is no time to socialize – even virtually, because other kids are doing their work at different times. I’m getting too negative. I think I need to change my outlook on life before it gets worse. According to the State of Michigan website on CoronaVirus (https://www.michigan.gov/coronavirus), we have to manage our feelings. I want to manage my anxiety and create some balance and calm in my life. The suggestions from the State of Michigan are not to isolate myself. I’m going to use these tips.
Children are emotionally impacted when they’re isolated from their friends. Having that awareness can help teens. Now my days are different. I don’t wake up early. I don’t greet my teacher or friends with a high five. Instead I do drive by’s and connect through social media. It’s not the same, but I’m adapting because I’ve learned strategies. I can’t wait until we can be face to face again in school.
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