By Kaycie Bellrichard
Do you know a student or teacher who has been impacted by the Coronavirus? This pandemic has made an impact on the world, especially on those with major milestones coming up in their lives. Because of the coronavirus, many schools have been closed and school-sponsored activities have been cancelled or postponed. Both students and educators are facing a wide range of emotions dealing with what is being thrown at them and are doing the best they can to adjust to the changes they must accept.
Josie Bellrichard is a senior at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities this year. The university announced that all classes for the remainder of the year would be taking place completely online and that the graduation ceremony is cancelled in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. As a senior, Bellrichard was upset when she heard this news. “I was pretty disappointed to hear that graduation was cancelled, but I understand why it has to happen,” Bellrichard said. She understands that the circumstances are difficult, but still wished she would be able to attend her own graduation ceremony. Being a senior meant that she was also assigned a senior project. Hers was to create a pilot episode of a TV show; this includes filming, casting, financing, and producing all of it. Due to COVID-19, this was shut down also. “I was working on my senior film project and I don’t get to do it anymore. I worked really hard on production for it so it is disappointing that it got cancelled,” she said. She wishes she would have known sooner because she had already gotten donations and completely casted her TV show.
Emily Biermann is a senior at Kingsland High School this year who is involved in many activities, most notably the Drama Club. When asked about the impact school closure had on her, she stated that she was upset about losing the chance to perform in the last Spring Show of her high school career. She said, “I’m mourning the loss of the Spring Show, it was supposed to be my last production.” She goes on to state that this is not her biggest concern, though. “I am most concerned about my family because my parents are older and more susceptible to the virus,” Biermann said. She explains that she is hoping that no one in her family contracts the virus and wants everyone to stay safe.
Biermann is also concerned for her classmates and educators, “I feel bad for our teachers that have to learn new methods to teach us that are unfamiliar to them.” She goes on, “It’s not just impacting the students’ lives, it’s impacting all of us.”
One teacher that has been impacted is Aaron Thauwald, a high school History teacher at Kingsland. He says that he has never seen anything like this before, “We’re in uncharted territory here.” He stated that the process in very unusual and is something he did not expect to happen. He goes on to explain that it is difficult for teachers to plan for the future. Thauwald says, “It is a unique experience that presents new challenges every day.” He is also the girls varsity Track & Field soach for GMLOKS. At this time, the season has been cancelled until further notice. Thauwald regularly proclaims that track season is the best part of his year, so the cancellation has made an impact on him. He remains optimistic for the future and believes that we will be able to get through this, one way or another. He finished with the statement, “We’re going to have to roll with the punches.”
Every educator and student has a different story on how the COVID-19 has impacted their life. It is a difficult subject for all of us, but the best thing to do is try to prevent further spread. Please be mindful of your actions during this time and continue to implement preventative measures in your own life in hopes that reality will go back to normal soon.