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A high school student explains why, and how to make it better

Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

When the pandemic hit and remote learning began in March, I first thought it was an extended Spring Break — a nice vacation away from high school for a few weeks, maybe even two months at the very most. I thought I could destress, the workload would be light, and I could hang out with friends in between classes.

A college freshman shares her Covid-19 experience of entering the ‘real world’ from behind a screen

Illustration: Mark Pernice

When you’re an incoming freshman, everyone tells you that college will be one of the most exciting periods in your life. You move out, meet new people, and start a serious education at a new school. It’s supposed to be the ultimate fresh start. For me, that meant moving away from home, finally studying and fully investing myself in what I love, and having new opportunities to grow as a person.

The pandemic and racism create a stressful back-to-school time

An instructor helps a student with her online school lesson at a desk separated from others by plastic barriers on September 10, 2020 in Culver City, California. Photo: Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

With Covid-19 cases in Illinois on the rise, Glenbard Township High School District plans to continue remote instruction, which began on August 17, at least through mid-October. But as the weeks go by, Black teachers in the district are facing increasing anxiety about navigating in-person education in a pandemic.

Can schools actually reopen safely?

A classroom at Boston Preparatory Charter School in Boston, MA on August 21, 2020. Photo: Boston Globe/Getty Images

After spring lockdowns, several state and local decision-makers went against the advice of health experts and reopened bars, gyms, and other risky indoor gathering places too quickly and fully, before getting Covid-19 spread under control. Infections surged, obliterating the gains made in lockdown and rendering school reopenings risky.

Observations from a nursing professor

Photo: FatCamera/Getty Images

Covid-19 has upended our local, national, and global communities. Facing down the destruction requires enormous dedication, and we’re seeing the highest quality of nursing care lead the charge at clinics and hospitals.

The inside scoop from a teacher in a country that did everything right

Photo: Macau Photo Agency/Unsplash

I teach literature and creative writing at an after-school program in South Korea. (Yes, in Korea, “after-school” means more school.) When Covid-19 hit, our school, along with public schools across the country, were shut down. I spent six weeks in my apartment fielding worried calls from American friends and family who had just added “deadly virus” to their “Did you hear North Korea just launched a missile?” fears about me living here. No one, including myself, could smell the shit storm headed their way.

My story happened 20 years ago, but it’s still happening today

Photo: PixelCathers/Getty Images

I knew that I wanted to attend Brown University when I was a sophomore in high school. Our college counseling office had a database of schools that could be searched by keyword. I clicked on “Biology” and “Premedicine.” The list generated was alphabetical. Brown was first. The internet was just taking hold, and so I had to find the web address and type it directly into a browser window on a boxy Macintosh in our computer lab. There was a picture of an elegant brick building centered on a grassy green. The few, text-heavy pages talked about an “open” curriculum…

Our existence is not an ‘epidemic.’ It’s a blessing.

Photo: Jed Share/Kaoru Share/Getty Images

As I’m writing this piece, two men are sitting next to me talking about how disabled people should be killed. Seriously. They’re going on and on about how vile it is that as some humans grow older, they begin to need diapers. In graphic detail, one of them is describing how he would shoot or poison himself if he were to become senile or physically incapacitated. His friend says it is a blessing that his mother died right after her stroke.


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