A pandemic through the eyes of children

Ashtyn Harter, Reporter

There have been a lot of changes in the world within the last year. It can be tough to adjust to such a big change in lifestyle when you are so used to living one way and things change so abruptly. It can be hard to understand what is going on, especially for a kid.

It is important to try to help the younger people in your life understand and cope with the new changes that come with the COVID-19 pandemic. Children need to know what is going on just like the rest of us. They need to be told about what’s going on in an easy-to-understand way. Children need to be told that they are safe and that it is okay to feel upset. According to the National Association of School Psychologists, it is important to stay calm, listen, and offer assurance when offering support to a child.

Each school is doing something different to deal with the virus. Some schools are doing full remote, some schools offer a hybrid option, and some parents felt that it was better to homeschool their children. St. John’s Evangelist Catholic school is doing something a little different. Before Thanksgiving break, their students were going to school in person. The students had to social distance, wear masks, and were separated by plexiglass dividers. The students got three-minute mask breaks, but they had to stay in their seats. 

 “I think I like my mask,” Trey Weiser, an eight-year-old third grader said. “Sometimes I don’t want to talk a lot, so I just pretend I’m talking. What I don’t like about masks is that sometimes there’s holes in them.”

Trey’s older sister, Megan, also goes to Saint John’s. She is currently a fifth-grader and will be starting middle school in 2021. 

“It was different because I couldn’t be with my friends,” Megan said. “ I had to talk louder. I also don’t like [the pandemic] because I can’t see my friends.”

Other students are going to school in person. Raven, a seventh grader at Bellefonte Area Middle School, is going to class in person. 

“School in general right now is, to sum it up, pretty rough. A lot of kids chose to be in person at the beginning of the year and have since chosen to go hybrid,” Raven said. “I think this is because of how stressful the school environment is right now.”

Raven also finds another challenge in the unknowns of the school year.

 “We’re one of the only schools around who’s actually still in-person fully, and it’s very stressful altogether,” she said.

Along with these two options, some parents decided that homeschooling was the best option for their children. Seven-year-old Kyper is experiencing first grade from home. Taught by both his mom and dad, Kyper is learning math, Social Studies, Language Arts, and science from home. 

“It’s a little bit hard,” Kyper said. “Some of the math tests are hard. I watch these videos [online] to help me. Sometimes they talk about stuff I already know… I just think it’s kinda boring. I’d probably be in school learning stuff.”

It is a very difficult time for everybody, adults and kids alike. We can all get through this together if we keep our heads on straight and tolerate the temporary issues that the pandemic has caused.