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The impact on Gilpin students

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Social distancing and “Stay At Home” order

By Esmee Halsted

Many people are doing their duty to stop the spread of COVID-19 by staying home, social distancing, and wearing protective gear. With schools shut down, many students are staying home and socializing with their friends via texting and video chat services. Still, the lack of social interaction and overall feelings that come with social distancing and staying home are at the top of students’ minds during these hard times.

Many students are adjusting to new relationships over the internet and spending more time with family and with a given household. Still, they are reacting differently to their family and household relationships. Many students commented about the amount of tension they felt with their families. In fact, Tristan Michtner, 10th grade, described his family’s relationship as “strained.” While families may be having trouble finding coexistence, that doesn’t mean they are growing apart. Take Robert Castillo, 11th grade, as an example. “I think we’ve gotten a bit closer to each other, but I will say it’s a lot easier to get mad since we’ve been stuck at home with each other for quite some time now. I’ll be honest, I can’t wait to get some time away from family, which is not meant to sound like a bad thing!”

Despite relationship troubles, students have other struggles on their mind. For example, Dallas LeBeau, 11th grader, is struggling with “school work and social distancing.” Chrislyn Martinez, 9th grade, is struggling to keep a decent sleep schedule. On the other hand, some students are finding quarantine to be a little easier. Robert Castillo, for example, said “It’s actually really easy for me to social distance as I never really liked being too close to people nor when they’re too close to me, and yes that includes my family. Now it doesn’t mean that I never liked being around other people. I just don’t find it hard for me to social distance.” Tristan Michtner describes social distancing as “no different than when I am at school.”

Emotionally, students are struggling to stay well. Dallas LeBeau is more stressed than he was before the COVID-19 outbreak, understandably. Robert Castillo expressed “I’ve been so bored in my house all day long that it’s also difficult for me to thrive…”

As far as the state of the world goes, students are both hopeful and scared of current events. “Well, it’s definitely different than what it was before, but that’s what goes on in the world. The world itself I think is doing great. I’ve heard that pollution has gone down since COVID-19, and natural habitats are returning back to certain places, so I think the world itself is getting better but the people on it are a different story,” explained Robert Castillo.

Though students reported feeling suffocated during this time, there seems to be an underlying hope for the future. Still, these times are really isolating for teens, students, and adults alike. If you ever feel the need to talk to someone, reach out to a friend. It is important to stay mentally healthy during these times!

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