COVID-19 and the School Environment

COVID-19 has drastically affected how we live our lives. We are faced with many challenges and restrictions. Pahrump Valley High School is one place that has been especially affected by the pandemic, and the school environment has been altered extremely.

COVID-19 and the School Environment

Hunter Larson, Journalist

In this past year, COVID-19 has drastically affected the way we live. Multiple restrictions have been put in place across the country to prevent the spread of COVID-19. These restrictions and procedures have had a large impact on how school operates during the pandemic.

To avoid the coronavirus, students are no longer allowed to gather together as much as they did in the past. They cannot sit down together for lunch, and they cannot interact with one another in class. Additionally, it can be dangerous for students to meet outside of school. 

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) states that “Public health actions, such as social distancing, are necessary to reduce the spread of COVID-19, but they can make us feel isolated and lonely and can increase stress and anxiety.” Stress and anxiety caused by loneliness can be damaging for people, especially younger, more emotionally vulnerable people.

COVID-19 has also created a more stressful environment for school staff. They are responsible for much of the increased sanitation and enforcement of procedures. Teachers are much more distant from their students, needing to instruct most of them from a computer. Such a shift can make some people, including students, very nervous.

Kenneth Weaver, principal at Pahrump Valley High School, announced in an email that “My focus has shifted, and the social and emotional support of everyone here is at the forefront. We are spending a lot of our time on making sure that teachers and students have what they need to be successful.” Extra effort has been put in by staff to support the school during the pandemic, and there have been challenges to face.

However, things are not as bad as they may seem. Over the almost one year pandemic, people have grown more used to operating differently, and things are running rather smoothly. Principal Weaver expands on this, telling us that “If anything is going to come from this, it is the resiliency of the human being. The adaptability that everyone has shown is remarkable. Teachers were worried about how they would teach, how they would reach kids and now I sit and watch and it is incredible what they are doing and how they are doing it.” People have adapted to the COVID environment, and we will be able to pull through until the end of the pandemic.

Mental health is important, especially during hard times. There are many ways to deal with stress and upset during the COVID-19 pandemic. The World Health Organization has multiple ways to help with mental health during the pandemic. They advise people to keep informed, keep a routine, avoid drugs and alcohol, stay in touch with others, and take time to relax. Doing these things can help people stay mentally and emotionally healthy.

It is still very important to follow procedures to avoid COVID-19. The WHO recommends that people clean their hands regularly, distance themselves from other people and stay home if you’re sick, avoid touching your face, and cover your face when you cough or sneeze. Additionally, continue to wear face coverings.

While things are difficult, we can pull through. We can keep living, keep ourselves and others safe, and soon, our lives can go back to normal.