How the COVID 19 Affects the OP Family
March 26, 2020
This series of stories, photos and other content hopes to provide our readers with localized news on how the global pandemic affects those of us who daily walked the halls together as the Oak Park family and how our lives have changed this month.
The year no one will forget
Quarantine. Something that sounds like a movie plot, or that seems surreal.
What seemed like a new minor virus, Covid-19, a variety of coronavirus, has become a nation-wide threat.
At time of publication on Tuesday, March 24, according to the CDC, there are over 33,000 cases in the U.S. alone which means schools have switched over to online, restaurants have moved to drive through and delivery only, and there are no gatherings of over 10 people.
But what is it really like to be a student right now — just two days into eLearning?
“I’m honestly freaking out,” senior Kelcie Jones said. “I’m worried about how school is going to work until we go back or if we ever do get to go back before the 2019-2020 school year ends. I’m worried I have already walked my last day within the halls and had no idea of it. I’m worried that my senior year days finished with a blink.”
The disease has mainly been fatal for older people and people who are immunocompromised, but with it being a widespread disease, there has been a lot of panic.
“The whole thing is kind of scary and it feels kind of surreal. The worst part of the Coronavirus is that a lot of store have run out of things like hand sanitizer and Clorox wipes and people who are immunocompromised can’t access them,” junior Leemu Masah said.
There are many opinions on whether there are enough things being done to prevent the spread of coronavirus. As of Tuesday March 24, Kansas City residents are to stay inside unless it’s to go to any essential services still available in hopes to help prevent the spread of the virus. Mayor Quinton Lucas issued the shelter-in-place for the KC metro area with advanced warning over the weekend.
“The worst part is that we’re so unprepared to deal with such a large problem. The only way to stop the hospitals from overflowing is to slow it down through quarantine,” junior Joran Brensdal said. “The most upsetting thing is how so many people treat the problem with a careless attitude.”
For the most current information on COVID19, follow the Center for Disease Control’s website at https://www.cdc.gov.
Spring break brought my birthday, free time and quarantine
Spring break, the time of friends, family, warm weather. The last real break before summer hits. It’s a time for excitement, this one was going to be extra special on top of all of that, coming up with my sweet 16 on the first day of spring break.
But, as the week of freedom from homework, projects, testing neared the world slowly started to shut down more and more. Covid-19, the virus that has made the headlines globally, and the effort to stop the spread was becoming more and more intense.
I tried to keep optimistic, no local cases had broken and I was sure everything would be fine. My birthday started off as planned, a family dinner at Olive Garden then a trip to Main Event. The dinner went rather smoothly, we enjoyed the Americanized, cheesy, delicious Italian food and I got to open my gifts. As we purchased our passes to Main Event, my phone got a bunch of notifications.
Spring break, in a sense, just got a whole lot longer. With an announcement from Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas, schools were to be shut down for safety precautions. I was forced to face the reality of the virus creating chaos.
Perhaps selfishly we continued our way around Main Event, we’d already paid for their Monday Night Madness passes and didn’t want to head home. As we did our activities, sanitizing every few moments, I couldn’t help but wonder what the rest of the week would be like. A lockdown. Kansas City, my city turned into somewhat of a ghost town as I’d never seen before.
As I got home that evening, showering the public germs off as quickly as possible, I did what no teenager wants to do over spring break, I thought about school. How would this work? I still had a week to wait until I found out.
As spring break carried on, as much as an introvert as I am, I found myself lonely sitting in my house with nothing but the internet and my dogs. With as much privilege that normally is, I was sad. I couldn’t visit my friends, spend time with my family outside of my house, anything. I allowed myself to spiral into entertainment. Starting four different series at once, reading a new book on top of practicing my own writing. Anything to keep me occupied.
This spring break was like no other, with the knowledge I essentially wasn’t allowed to do quite a few things, I’d felt the urge to do more and more than I normally ever do. As I write this, it’s the same situation.
This unique, prolonged time at home wasn’t the way I planned my spring break, but it still ended up being worthwhile. Being able to catch up on the things I like that schoolwork hadn’t allowed me to indulge in, maybe this shut down wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.
As we, society, rest as much as possible indoors. Distance ourselves from each other and germs, the world is healing. I started to see more and more beauty online. Stories from around the globe of rivers clearing up, deer and geese freely wandering the empty roads, mother nature going back to her old self.
What I learned from this spring break, and my overall review of it is it was a learning experience. It wasn’t thrilling, adventurous or any other thing one might relate to a spring break but it was relaxing, productive in its own forced quarantine, pandemic way.
Even without competition, the show must go on
Band members have been using months worth of free time to prepare for their contest season. Due to closures, those competitions were cancelled.
Click THIS LINK to read about their solution and watch the collection of “Tiny Desk Recitals.”
Lunches provided curbside and at selected bus stops
The school district provides 8,000 free lunches daily to the 21,000 students district wide. Students under 18 may pick up lunches at one of the four high schools and at select bus stops.
For more information on routes and times, visit: https://www.nkcschools.org/Page/5129
The district social media has been a major source of communications about food services during this time: