Has the damage already been done to everyone’s mental state?

Students, teachers battle maintaining a positive approach to learning

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Raider Times photo / Raider Times photo

Whether they are socially distant at school or learning from home, students have been challenged by a year of communicating mainly through their computer.

Chris Gagnon , Raider Times staff

COVID-19 has affected students, families, and nations around the world. This pandemic has truly contributed to a wave of mental sickness. Every school has handled the lockdown differently. 

The true question is, how has this pandemic affected students and staff?

“At the beginning of the pandemic, I didn’t have any motivation but then at the beginning of senior year it made me work harder because I had more time,” said Watertown High senior Cooper Petrie. “The negatives are that I could not hang out with my friends a lot and that I could not learn face to face with a teacher”

I feel like I’m always working this year — since my work space is where I sleep at night. It feels like when I wake up, I’m immediately at school doing work and I think that’s pretty unhealthy.”

— AIDAN CURRY, Watertown High senior

“In the beginning, I think everyone was affected,” said Whitman-Hanson senior Amanda Gagnon. “We weren’t really used to this whole ‘lockdown’ thing, so I don’t really think anyone was prepared for it.”

“For me as a student who has been virtual for the year, I feel like I have a lot more time than I normally would since I don’t have to commute back and forth to school,” said Watertown senior Aidan Curry.

“One big negative is how I feel like I’m always working this year — since my work space is where I sleep at night. It feels like when I wake up, I’m immediately at school doing work and I think that’s pretty unhealthy.” 

English teacher Will MacLaughlin said, “I think, without question, the most challenging thing is when some people are in the room and others are at home.” 

“It takes effort, but I think trying to bring your own curiosity and optimism is key. I think if you enter the school day thinking, ‘Man this is going to be a drag. Man this is going to be another day.’  There is a chance it will be. But, if you can enter it thinking there is new stuff today, new things to say, if you can allow yourself to realize the possibilities that will be a cool effect.”

Fortunately, the response to COVID-19 has progressed to where vaccines are being used worldwide. Still, although vaccines have significantly slowed the pandemic, has damage already been done? 

–April 6, 2021–