COVID-19 Pandemic: Drawbacks and Benefits

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Seniors Shianne Berger and Isabell Kopf have demonstrated one of the benefits of the pandemic and the resulting closure of brick and mortar schools: students' increased resiliency. The obstacles of society's new normal have been a trial for students, and these two have shown the drive and the adaptability to overcome whatever adversity they face. Among their many accomplishments, they have maintained the steady production of the school newspaper under very challenging conditions.

Shianne Berger and Isabell Kopf

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about so many unforeseen events and changes to the world that it’s sometimes challenging to see both the positives and the negatives.

There are many aspects of society that the virus has impacted. Below is a list of a few of those along with two different views on each aspect.

The Coronavirus Itself

Shianne’s point: While the coronavirus is a deadly disease, many people have recovered from it. More than one million worldwide have successfully recovered, including newborn babies. In addition, the symptoms tend to be milder, like the flu. These symptoms include a cough, fever and shortness of breath.

Isabell’s counterpoint: As of May 30, there were over 6.05 million confirmed cases and over 369,000 deaths worldwide. The virus is easily transmitted and can have detrimental consequences. The elderly and those with weaker immune systems are more susceptible and are considered “high-risk” people, meaning they must take even more precautions to protect themselves. Also, millions of people could be carriers and show no symptoms at all, meaning they could infect others without even knowing it. The main struggle with the coronavirus itself is that when people first became infected, hardly any information about it was known, which makes the disease all the more terrifying.

Health

Shianne’s point: While being stuck at home, people can do many things to improve their health. Despite gyms being closed, people can find ways to do workouts at their house: lift books, run up and down stairs, follow a YouTube workout video, etc. In addition to working out, this is a great time to try new recipes and create home-cooked meals for their family.

Isabell’s counterpoint: The closure of public gyms means that people need to work out at home or not at all. However, some don’t have the means to complete any workout at home because they don’t have the space or the privacy they want from their family. Some also find it difficult to exercise without having their “workout partner,” and with quarantine, these people do not have their supportive partner and may feel discouraged.

Mental Health

Shianne’s point: Although this whole situation has taken a toll on people’s mental health, being stuck at home could help. While being quarantined, people can find creative new outlets to release stress and the emotions that come with COVID-19. Not only can they find new outlets, but they can adapt their previous coping mechanisms, such as going to the gym.

Isabell’s counterpoint: The necessary changes to daily activities can cause people to become even more stressed than they were before. Aside from the already pressing concern about catching the coronavirus, people are now tasked with finding alternatives to their routines, and more often than not, the alternative is a more challenging and time-consuming task. High-risk people are worried about not being able to buy groceries and other necessary items. Those who are in nursing homes are not allowed to be visited, which in turn creates great strain on their already fading memory. People feel isolated from their loved ones, and it takes a toll on their mental health.

Technology

Shianne’s point: Thanks to technology constantly growing, the impacts of COVID-19 have not been as bad as they could have been. People are able to keep in touch with friends and family through texting, calling and video chatting. Schools have been able to continue with online schooling, some schools providing students with computers to take home. Not only is technology used as a communication device, but also as entertainment. People can download games on their phones or laptops. Thanks to the internet, people can watch streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime Video.

Isabell’s counterpoint: Because of the social distancing and other restrictions, people have had to turn to technology in order to communicate and even complete tasks they normally would do in person. However, many people live out of range of reliable internet service and miss out on virtual communication with friends, family, co-workers, etc. Even those who have an internet connection may find it extremely hard to communicate with family and friends via the internet rather than physically visiting them.

Schools

Shianne’s point: When school buildings were shut down, lots of responsibility was put onto students and parents. Although it might not be the best situation, there are plenty of positives. Students are able to create their own schedule: when to sleep, when to do schoolwork, when to hang out with their family. Some students are scared to go to school, and this solves that problem. It stops the bullying and peer pressure. Homeschooling also sheds light on how hard teachers work every day. It allows parents to understand teachers.

Isabell’s counterpoint: Students were forced to switch to a fully virtual education because the pandemic had shut down all K-12 schools. Many seniors lost the final months of their high school career, and others lost academic or sporting seasons, dances, field trips and other events they had been looking forward to. Many parents of young students were forced to find someone to take care of their child while they went to work. Some students live in a location where the internet connection is weak or not able to reach at all, so they struggled to complete their assignments on time and attend virtual meetings with their teachers.