Students across the nation were not expecting to remain in distance learning for as long as it has gone on. For many, they thought it would just take a few weeks for things to get back to normal; however, the pandemic has still forced many schools to remain closed.
Kern County was forced to revert back into the purple tier — the most restrictive tier — on Monday, forcing businesses to stop indoor services. And school district that had no plan to reopen while Kern was in the red tier must remain closed until Kern moves back into the red tier, public health officials say.
If a school was in the process of implementing a phased re-opening plan while the County was in the Red Tier, the school site may continue its phased re-opening, according to the Kern County Superintendent of Schools.
Kern Sol News reached out to local students to hear their take on distance learning and the effects it has had on them and their mental health.
The pandemic has shown me how much I used to depend on others to make me feel happy, and ever since we have been in quarantined, I’ve realized that I don’t need other people there to make me feel like me. There are times when I feel down because I miss seeing my friends or having interaction outside of my family, and I sulk all day. The pandemic has taken me on a roller coaster of emotions that I didn’t know I had. I’ve felt my lowest low and my highest high during this pandemic. For self care, I take time to remind myself that everything happens for a reason and take time to be grateful to be able to have grown as a person. I also like to read or watch Netflix in order to take my mind of the fact that things are not the same.
— Jocelyn Gandarilla 17
This pandemic has shown me that it is very important to not just take care of our physical well-being but also our mental well-being. I am not able to do some things I used to do for my self care routine before COVID-19, like go out with friends. For self care now, I do at-home workout routines and watch movies.
— Riley Ramos, 17
Despite having had days filled to the brim with anxiety caused from the worries the pandemic brings, I have learned how to handle my emotions in a positive way. The pandemic has forced me to take time to focus on how I am truly feeling, thus allowing me to learn when I need to take a breather for myself. I now set time aside daily to read or write and get some form of cardio in. I have learned how helpful it is with keeping my anxieties at bay.
–Syvannah Sandoval, 18
With the stay at home orders installed, I haven’t been able to see any of my friends for months. I haven’t had many people to talk to which led to having cloudy and negative thoughts. In order to take care of my mental health, I have been trying out new hobbies and the one that is helping the most is writing down goals I want to accomplish for the day or week.
–Alexis Arellano, 17
The pandemic did take a little toll on my mental health. It was harder to focus on myself and keep myself sane while a deadly pandemic was happening. Over these past few months, I’ve been learning to take care of my mental health more. I had to accept the situations that are happening now and find ways to see a more positive outlook on everything.
— Parneet Sahota, 18
The pandemic has affected my mental health by causing me emotional distress within my social and academic life. Some ways I think our schools can do to support our students with their mental health during these tough circumstances are to provide mental health resources and prepare all teachers and staff to address the issue.
— Jackie Herrera