Students react to coronavirus upheaval


graphic from Pixabay

The Pioneer Optimist asked students to submit their thoughts, concerns, experiences, etc., during this coronavirus pandemic that has most of us shut up in our homes. Below are some responses. We will add to this as more responses come in. If you are a Pioneer student or staff member who would like to share your thoughts, please send them to: [email protected] Please include your full name and class level.


“My group’s humanities satire project was going to be about the media’s somewhat unreasonable/overcrazed/irrational reactions to the coronavirus pandemic, but with how sensitive this topic has become, we decided to change the project focus. But like, is the project ever going to be due anyways?”

~ Earl Bae, senior


“Although I miss seeing my friends and going to school in person, I get to spend more time with and become even closer with my family.”

~ Ceci Maixner, sophomore


”I don’t really mind school ending because school makes me really anxious. Everything is so unknown I’m just trying to take it day by day. This has given me a much needed chance to slow down and reflect. I turned 18 in the middle of the pandemic which felt strange. I miss my friends so much. I miss going to other places. I’m really sad that the best part of high school, the very end of senior year, might be cancelled. Overall this feels very lonely.”

~ Tasha Loomis, senior


“It’s crazy because we don’t know if we have been exposed to it or even if we have it due to the limited amount of tests available, but even so it’s been affecting all of us and will probably be the most memorable experience in the upcoming generation’s lives.”

~ Sneha Thodla, sophomore


“This is all still very unreal to me. At first people joked at the virus and made it seem smaller than it was, and then everything hit so close to home so fast. I’m scared looking into the future but am trying to remain positive. Though I realize that all of this is bigger than just a prom or graduation for many, no matter how I dice it, I’m afraid I won’t be able to have the senior year I’ve waited many years to see. I’m keeping everyone affected by the virus in my prayers and hoping that things will get better.”

~ Ku’Juana Quinn, senior


“I’m really scared about my choir; it means so much to me and I’m not prepared to leave it like this. I’m worried about prom and graduation, that my senior year is going to be ruined. I feel like I won’t be able to properly process the big transition from high school into college without these milestones. I’m also worried about my family members who aren’t taking this seriously enough, like my Nana and my older, more conservative relatives. They’re not practicing social distancing and not keeping up with the news and I’m worried they’ll get sick.”

~ Rachel Shazer, senior


“It’s rather unsettling, everything that’s going on now. I suppose what’s most concerning is the concept that only weeks ago Corona didn’t seem like a relevant issue to any of us, that it was so detached from our own lives, and now it’s in every aspect of everything.”

~ Carissa Hawkins, junior


“I’ve found the most difficult part about social isolation or whatever you want to call it is not being at school. I didn’t really think I’d miss it that much but over the past few days I’ve realized how much stability it provided in my daily life. School gave me a steady routine that I could base my life around, so it’s been kind of discombobulating to not have that routine anymore. But I’ve tried to cope with this lack of routine by basing my time around the hobbies that I haven’t had time for because of school.”

~ Ashleigh Lowe, senior


“To be honest, it hasn’t hit me yet (what this means for senior year). We technically haven’t gotten an official statement from AAPS so my brain still thinks we are going to have our concerts, prom, graduation, etc. However, when I get an official statement soon, I think I will be very seriously bummed out and very sad. I’ve been to prom as a junior, so it might be easier for me to cope with prom cancellation. But I cannot imagine how my friends who have never been to prom would feel because this would be their first AND last. I just think that after all the hard work that seniors went through, we are not gonna have our fun second semester and it just makes me so sad.

“Additionally, in some states discrimination toward Asians has been awful. Trump’s public racism toward Asians has not been helping either. Also, certain people have been hoarding unnecessary amounts of toilet paper that people actually need and those people cannot find any.

“My family is from Daegu, South Korea, which is the most infected city in South Korea. My grandparents, cousins, and aunts all live there and they’ve been quarantined for awhile. This definitely made me more aware of this pandemic, since my family has a high possibility of getting infected with the virus.”

~ Daeun Nam, senior


“The quarantine has caused me to feel like I have nothing to look forward to. I can’t see my friends or do extracurriculars, I even miss schoolwork. All of my days are kind of blurring in an endless spiral of hopelessness. However, I would recommend to anyone else who is feeling this way that they go outside and feel the sun because I’ve found it shifts my mood entirely. I would say one good thing about quarantine is the amount of sleep I’m getting. Combined with all of my newfound free time that has decreased my stress significantly.”

~ Rebecca Brewer, junior


“I wonder what’s going to happen to the graduation ceremony this year. We can’t have it in-person if present circumstances persist, but would it be fair for the seniors to have worked their butts off for 12 years and end up graduating in their living rooms?”

~ Jenny Sun, sophomore


“I am struck, but mostly by much confusion, and don’t know what the future holds. However, I am not scared because I know God is watching over all of his children.”

~ Ross Eaton, junior


“The Coronavirus has caused a major turn in the events of my life. Being this close to my family all day is driving me nuts. I also feel like my learning has been negatively impacted now that I am outside of the classroom. With all of the confusion regarding online school and grading I’ve really been struggling to find motivation. All of these bad things are only being compounded by the news, so I would suggest turning it off and doing something that distracts you from reality. Doing this had made me happier by bringing a sense of normalcy back into my life.”

~ Shankrith Chandru, sophomore


“It’s pretty cool to me how we’re able to live through something like this worldwide pandemic in our lifetimes.”

~ Casey Jiang, sophomore


“I honestly hate how all the boomers are stocking up on stuff like toilet paper and hand sanitizer and leaving the rest of us literally nothing, like have they even considered leaving stuff for the people who run out?”

~ Cindy Huang, sophomore


“In my honest opinion, this whole situation could have been avoided if the man in the White House did his job. Instead of doing what needed to be done he went on a campaign of gaslighting and misinformation, downplaying the virus and acting as though it was a liberal hoax. This resulted in people (along with some of my family as well) believing the virus to be not as bad as it actually was, resulting in cases that could been averted, along with dozens of other problems. Regardless of what your opinion of him is, I think we can all agree that this administration’s response to this crisis was absolutely terrible.”

~ Diego Boyd-Lassalle, junior


“I feel fine so far this quarantine. I’ve enjoyed spending the time off with family members, and doing my homework at my own pace is way less stressful. That being said, it sucks being indoors all the time and I wish I could play lacrosse and hang out with my friends. Although it is very important to practice social distancing, stop shaming people who aren’t self-quarantined because many still need a source of income.”

~ Adam Karibian, junior


“It really sucks that Coronavirus had to happen my senior year. We were supposed to have so many vital high school experiences this year, like prom and graduation!!”

~ Isabelle Valladarus, senior


“When my future kids protest me not letting them go out, I can now tell them, ‘I stayed inside for 3 weeks when I was your age, you can’t even stay in for one night?'”

~ Erika Chen, sophomore