CT and LG Oral History, 2021/09/15


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CT and LG Oral History, 2021/09/15

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Two college students recall how their final years of high school were changed by COVID-19, discussing how sports were cancelled and classes went online.

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United States of America

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Two college students recall how their final years of high school were changed by COVID-19, discussing how sports were cancelled and classes went online.

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CT 00:00
Hi, I'm [redacted].

LG 00:01
And I'm [redacted]. Please state the day and time.

CT 00:03
It's Wednesday, September 15, 2021 at 8:40pm.

LG 00:07
Do you consent to being interviewed?

CT 00:09
Yes, I do consent to being interviewed. Do you consent?

LG 00:11
I also consent. Today we'll be discussing our experiences with COVID-19. Okay, to start us off, Cara, where were you first, when the stay-at-home orders were put into place?

CT 00:23
So I actually remember the exact day, it was Sunday, March 15th, 2020. And it was in the morning and my school called saying that, we'd be doing remote learning for the next two weeks. And my school was actually one of the first in the area that made this call, and like, the other nearby towns and districts called it like hours or days later. And at first, I was honestly kind of excited, because spring of junior year is said to be like one of the hardest times of high school. So it was kind of a sigh of relief to be having some time off. There's also that side of concern that the fact that schools are shutting down like this has to be a very big deal. And I began to get frightened and it really opened my eyes to the severity of what was happening across the world. Because a few days later, like there had been the state of emergency calls in the state. But you see stuff like that happen all the time, like hurricanes and stuff. So I wasn't too concerned when that happened. But like once a school is being started being shut down, I became concerned, I would say. So, as the pandemic continued, became less of the fear and the excitement that I originally sparked, was gone and it was more just me wanting to get back to my normal life. How about you, [redacted]? What was it like when you first found out about the COVID mandates that were put in place?

LG 01:33
So, when I first heard about the COVID outbreak, I was actually in, I remember, specifically my math class, and I remember someone pulled out their phone, and they were looking at the local news. And they're like, "Oh, my gosh, [laughs] someone in our town actually has COVID now!" Like, is it, this is, I think that's when reality really struck. And we realized we were going to be in lockdown. And I remember my math teacher saying like, "Yeah, this probably won't be only two weeks, it's probably gonna be a long time. Don't even know if we're gonna go, go back to school after this." And I remember all of my activities being pulled; I had spring track coming up.

CT 02:07
Yeah, me too. All my sports got canceled.

LG 02:09
Yeah, everything I had set up for the future. I remember in the spring, um, was all canceled, I remember just not even being able to process it at the time, it was kind of just complete shock and not really processing that we weren't going to have a normal rest of the year. Um, to segue into the next question. Um, [redacted], how did you feel about the national and global response to the pandemic? Did you feel it was adequate? Did you feel it was not enough? What are your opinions?

CT 02:37
That's a really great question. Let me see. So I think I'll start by recognizing the actions of many of the leaders at the national and global level. So, usually, people have been criticizing leaders for their responses to the pandemic. But when you really think about it, these disasters, this disaster, it came out of absolutely nowhere, all of a sudden, the human population was being threatened. And we were completely unfamiliar and this viral virus was so unknown, um, there was no like warning or anything, we, everyone just kind of had to jump into action on the spot. And I would say that leaders were relatively quick to impose like stay-at-home orders, recommend wearing masks and like sanitation, like social distancing. And when these individuals actually got their positions as like President or Governor or whatever position they hold, they didn't sign up for being like the head of a pandemic, they didn't know this was going to happen to them. And this was not like in their agenda. They had no idea this was coming. So considering the circumstances, I think they do deserve recognition for their leadership during such difficult time. Um, looking at the rest of America, I also think it was incredible to see all the support people showed for each other, like nurses and doctors, treating patients, people supporting all like sick family members and elderly center workers. And despite the fear that most people had, they just continued with their lives for the benefit of society as a whole. So with that being said, I think there was relatively a good response to the pandemic, obviously, there's no like perfect way to deal with such an issue. But, looking back, there's some things we could have done better. And I do acknowledge all the positive things we did. So, the next question I'm interested in hearing your response to is how your experience changed from beginning of the pandemic to right now in the present moment?

LG 04:19
I think that's a really important question, because it also forces us to think introspectively about how we first reacted in the beginning to how we act now about the pandemic. Um, in the beginning, I know there was the whole toilet paper thing where people were just ravishing stores for toilet paper, and kind of acting selfishly, not gonna lie.

CT 04:41
Yes, that is very true.I'm actually sad to admit that my dad did have a whole closet full of toliet paper in my basement.

LG 04:47

CT 04:48
Sad to admit it.

LG 04:49
I'm, I'm. Yeah, I mean, my grandma had like, way too much aloe I don't even know what she needs it for. [laughs] But um, I just remember everyone was kind of, every man for themselves type of attitude. And I think as the pandemic progressed, and we all became a little more isolated, I think we made the effort to reach out and work together to try and minimize the effects of the pandemic, to the best of our ability.

CT 05:16
It's been great talking with you today. What do you take away from this interview?

LG 05:18
Um, I'm gonna take away the fact that there are actually a lot of positive things that came from COVID that I haven't actually thought about or had, had the time to think about. Um, one of them being that people have been unified. And, um, another being that I value, um, my life a lot more and the activities I get to do and participate in from my day-to-day life.

CT 05:40
Those are really great points. I enjoyed talking with you today.

LG 05:43
You too.

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