STUDENT WRITERS: Reaction to Covid-19 outbreak, and school

The Town Line presents the STUDENT WRITERS PROGRAM
This week featuring: ERSKINE ACADEMY

by Wes McGlew
Junior, Erskine Academy

What seemed like 10 years ago, March, was the beginning of this crazy, terrifying, isolating adventure that we experienced through a screen. Everything I had been looking forward to this year had suddenly been uprooted and thrown out. I think a lot of people were in shock or denial, or I don’t know what.

I was sitting in Global Studies, my sophomore year, as Griffin and I were talking about the up-coming lacrosse season and spring soccer, while the teacher was teaching us about the colonization of Africa. We probably should have been paying attention a little better. Most of it went in one ear and out the other. I asked Griffin, “So, is there anyone new joining the travel team this spring?” He must not have heard me at first, but I made sure to get his attention by throwing a piece of paper at his head. That seemed to work. I asked him again.

“I don’t think so man, just the same guys. We lost our keeper though. He decided to focus on track this year,” he replied. We both thought that was pretty dumb, but before we could start talking about who might be a good replacement, we heard the familiar voice of the loud speaker, but it wasn’t the usual message, like, “Mason, please go to the guidance office.” It was a little more alarming…

What we heard instead shocked us all: “Due to the alarming increase of Covid-19, Erskine Academy will be closed starting tomorrow for two weeks. During the two weeks, we advise you all to stay quarantined in hopes of slowing the spread. We wish all of you good health, and hopefully we will see you soon.” Griffin and I immediately looked at each other, with the same blank expression, like we had just seen a ghost. Little did we know, this wouldn’t only put a hold on our sports seasons, but our lives as a whole.

I went home that day with my older sister Reece. We exchanged just a few quick comments on the otherwise quiet ride home. We both rushed inside to tell my mum the news we had heard at school. She told us to look at it as a positive, but that it would mean that we couldn’t see our friends, and for me it meant I couldn’t see my girlfriend, Sam, for at least two weeks. Luckily for me, I had just gotten my license, so from time to time I drove over to Sam’s house and talked for a while from my car. For two weeks that’s how it was. Boring, but bearable.

We just got worse news after that. Covid had gotten so bad, that school would be closed for the entire rest of the school year. So, I finished the last months of the school year online, having little to no interaction with my friends. Getting bored and depressed, I hated thinking about how much longer everything would be on hold. Months went by. Luckily, by mid-summer, I had gotten a job, which distracted me for nine hours of the day, and provided me with a little enjoyment and something for which to look forward.

Then excitement came in the form of protest. After the death of George Floyd, millions of enraged Americans took to the streets to protest the racism of certain people and certain systems of government. Taking part in these events cured me of any sort of quarantine slump. I started to look forward to hearing about what was going on, and seeing how I could make an impact.

And finally, now, with my junior soccer season over and school halfway back to normal, it seems as though history might repeat itself. Covid cases begin to spike again, school closed once, winter sports are questionable, businesses are starting to close, again. Meanwhile, I’m just thinking to myself, “Here we go again. Ready for round two?”

Student Writer’s Program: What Is It?

The Town Line has many articles from local students under the heading of the “Student Writer’s Program.” While it may seem plainly evident why The Town Line would pursue this program with local schools and students, we think it’s worth the time to highlight the reasons why we enthusiastically support this endeavor.

Up front, the program is meant to offer students who have a love of writing a venue where they can be published and read in their community. We have specifically not provided topics for the students to write on or about, and we have left the editing largely up to their teachers. From our perspective this is a free form space provided to students.

From the perspective of the community, what is the benefit? When considering any piece that should or could be published, this is a question we often ask ourselves at The Town Line. The benefit is that we as community are given a glimpse into how our students see the world, what concerns them, and, maybe even possible solutions to our pressing problems. Our fundamental mission at the paper is to help us all better understand and appreciate our community, our state, and our nation through journalism and print.

We hope you will read these articles with as much interest and enjoyment as we do. The students are giving us a rare opportunity to hear them out, to peer into their world, and see how they are processing this world we, as adults, are giving them.

To include your high school, contact The Town Line, townline@townline.org.

 
 

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1 reply
  1. Theresa Stark
    Theresa Stark says:

    Excellent piece of writing by the Erskine Academy junior, Wes McGlew. This student has provided not only a portal into a bit of his personal world, but has also forged a connection with this reader by reminding her that this virus and the politics, have had an impact on people of all ages. McGlew’s writing is honest and redirecting, a reminder of youth and hope. Kudos young writer, McGlew.🖊

    Reply

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