Class Quarantine: How Students are Impacted by the Two-Week Absence


Photo via Tyler Mullins

“I have been drawing and painting a lot more which is good, I always wanted to get better so now I have the time to do it more,” Tyler Mullins, 17, said.

Mylynn Hopper, Staff Writer

People around the world have been cautioned to stay inside their homes. They have been warned to try to stay out of the public and prevent gathering in heavily populated places. In an effort to keep everyone safe and healthy, people have been informed to self quarantine. This has been asked of various countries, cities, and states, with Virginia being one of them. 


In light of recent events, Kempsville, along with other schools, businesses, and other facilities in the area, has been closed in an effort to reduce the spread of the controversial Coronavirus (COVID-19). The unexpected decision has put students out of school for two weeks, drastically changing the lives and schedules of staff, students, and teachers.  


Students of all grades have been put out of school and told to stay home, a decision that caught many by surprise, eliciting multiple reactions.


“I had a bit of a mixed reaction,” said Faith Coley, sophomore said.”Mostly, I was worried because it was something new and different than my normal schedule. I was curious as to how they would handle us not being in our actual schools for the next two weeks. I was also sad because I wouldn’t be able to regularly see my friends.” 


“Initially, I was stunned, excited, and glad with the news. I would be able to sleep-in and catch up on work,” said junior Jada Jones. 


“At first, like most people I was happy and excited,” said Tyler Mullins, who is a senior. “But now, I miss seeing people, and days go by slow cause I have nothing to do.” 


Since being quarantined, the lives of the three students have changed. While Mullins and Coley have reported their lives as being “slow,” Jones has been using this time to focus on herself.


“My life has been filled with a lot of self-discovery. Not only have I practiced social distancing. I have experienced emotional and spiritual distancing and healing. I’ve been in the house the majority of the time. I am catching up on TV shows and watching a ton of movies. I am finally reading books that have been collecting dust on my shelf. I am finally doing things I never had the time for. I’m spending time with my family. It’s been fun,” Jones said. However, self-quarantine can get boring really fast. I’ve stared at the ceiling straight for 10 minutes. Sometimes I feel contained. Overall, it’s been a nice experience.”


Coley and Mullins also have been finding ways to keep occupied while isolated.


“Since the break, I’ve been able to spend a lot of time with my family, I’ve spent more time outside than I usually do, I’ve had more time to practice the instruments that I play, and I’ve watched more TV,” said Coley. 


“Drawing, painting, [and] playing video games [have occupied my time], and my parents have made me do more yard work and cleaning,” said Mullins. 


The three have also been able to invest their time into hobbies that they never had the time to work on in the past, such as painting, reading, and learning how to play new instruments. 


Although they have expressed some enjoyment in being out of school, Coley, Jones, and Mullins still have their concerns with being out of school.


“One of the most stressful aspects of being out of school has been dealing with the changes. In my TCC courses, the rubric and the grade weight averages has changed. The AP exams are now being administered online with only free-response questions, no multiple choice,” said Jones.


For Mullins, not being able to see his friends as often as he used to troubles him the most. As for Coley, she is concerned about the overall uncertainty of the rest of the school year. 


“Some of my classes were beginning or scheduled to begin certain topics and activities before school was cancelled, and now in order to adapt to online schooling, those topics have had to be postponed or removed,” Coley said. “It has been stressful for me, wondering if we’re going to get those topics in or if all this is going to hold us back in the progress of the school year.”  


She is also concerned for the fate of her AP exams.


Along with more immediate worries, the three are also concerned with how this time will impact the outcome for the rest of the year.


“How will this affect spring break, prom, AP exams, TCC classes, and my overall learning experience have been some major concerns,” said Jones.


“Definitely I’m a little concerned with how this time out could affect the rest of the year. I’m concerned that it could possibly result in us losing spring break or the school year being extended as a whole,” Coley said


“I’m concerned about graduation being pushed back and about the whole AP exam situation,” Mullins said.


Despite the difficulty and uncertainty of the situation, Coley, Mullins, and Jones still find words of encouragement to share.

“I’d say that this will eventually be over with and we will see our friends and teachers again. Even though our senior experiences has been shortened, make every small moment count,” Mullins shared. 


“This time period we are in consists of a lot of uncertainty, but it will get better and as a community, we are going to get through it. Use this time as a period of rest and rejuvenation. Try the hobby you have been wanting to pick up, get better at the one’s you already have, and even use this time as a period of catching up on something you are behind in. Use this time to better yourself. Overall, just know that we are going to get through this and it will be okay,” Coley said. 


“While in isolation and self-quarantine, I encourage everyone to try something new and make sure they maintain healthy habits, such as thoroughly washing their hands and staying out of other people’s face. I encourage everyone to be productive and come back better than before,” Jones added.