By Zachary Kersh
Americans and specifically Marylanders have been on lockdown for over a month now due to the outbreak of Covid-19, better known as coronavirus. The impact of the temporary closure of non-essential businesses has been tremendously, and mostly negatively, influencing the American workforce. Likewise, the closure of and transiting to online schooling has changed students’ lives at well.
The accessibility of the necessary equipment to exercise has become a barrier to many students’ lives. While before students could take a short walk or drive to their local school or gym in order to exercise, that convenience is no longer available. And for a lot of these students this change in their lives has been extremely noticed. Glenelg Junior, and varsity football and basketball athlete, Robbie Tolbert mentions, “Since I don’t have as nice of a gym in my house as Glenelg I’ve really been noticing an impact. I lost 10 pounds in the last month and I just hope this quarantine ends soon so I can use Glenelg’s weight room again.” The athletes that are being impacted the most by the unfortunate lack of accessibility are ones with upcoming fall seasons, such as football, soccer, track & field, and volleyball.
Despite some students experiencing a decrease in their exercise, others have seen a dramatic increase. Glenelg Junior Matthew Pysh explains, “I definitely would say that I go outside more now than I did before. I guess it took a global pandemic to get me to be more active.” For students, there is one feeling that would accurately describe a great deal of them as of now: boredom. Students normally have so many things going on: going to school, playing sports, hanging out with friends. However, with coronavirus, you can imagine how bored all the teenagers must be. As a result, they’ll eventually try new things to ease that boredom. It’s great that going outside is one of those things, since going outside can have many benefits aside from getting exercise.
In addition, each student's academic year is being greatly impacted in positive and negative ways. For starters, the fourth quarter is being changed into a “pass” or “incomplete” type grade, with a 50% completion rate of assignment translating into an A. Glenelg Junior Chloe Birckhead voices, “I’m really happy about how the fourth quarter grading is going to work. It’s going to help my grade a lot and I won’t be nearly as stressed.” Because of everything that is going on outside of school as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, it might be beneficial in the long term that the Howard County School system has made this decision; schoolwork won’t add to the stress that students are feeling because of coronavirus and its implications.
Another important topic are AP Exams. For most classes, they are being reformatted to a forty-five minute exam that colleges will be treating as a normal exam. The shorter exam could potentially be good and bad for students. Glenelg Junior Ethan Barajas says, “I like the shorter exam because it just seems less stressful being shorter, but at the same time there’s more of an impact on your overall score for each question you get incorrect.” Despite a shorter test holding no major real benefits, the idea of a shorter test is definitely something that numerous students see as less stressful for obvious reasons. However, since the tests will be shorter, there will be a smaller amount of curriculum covered. Although the College Board will try their best to incorporate as broad of the curriculum as they can, the exams will nonetheless be less of a measure on a student’s overall knowledge on a class, and more of a measure of a student’s individual knowledge regarding specific units of a class. While this could be beneficial for students that are strong in the tested units, it will also be disadvantageous for students that are weak in the tested units. Most likely however, the college board will most likely do a great job at incorporating a wide range of units on each exam.
Student’s lives have been drastically changed in more ways than not as a result of the coronavirus. And, despite many of these changes being bad, they are ultimately for the health and safety of the entire world. Let’s just all cross our fingers and hope that the world becomes a healthier place sooner than later!