Did quarantine leave us better off?


Staff Graphic by Nico Lopez

COVID changed everyone, whether that’s for the better or worse.

Nico Lopez, Student Life Editor

In March of 2020, we were all forced to social distance and avoid congregating at all costs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While at first people were upset, eventually they acquired an opportunity they’d never had before. Everyone got to be truly alone for a long period of time and free to reflect on who they are.

Everyone changes, especially teens, but social distancing definitely accelerated that change. Wakefield senior Kelly Hernandez is one of those who were able to quickly adapt to being alone. 

“I think changing as a person comes with adolescence, but quarantine rushed the process,” Hernandez said. “Before quarantine, I always had to be around someone. Now I’m more comfortable being alone.”

Being alone gave everyone more time to be themselves and voice their opinions. People started being more aware of how they fit into the world around them.

One of the most significant changes is with underclassmen who went through a great transition from middle to high school during quarantine. Due to social distancing, they often weren’t able to keep in contact with their old friends or form new friendships. This changed the high school environment completely for a long time.

“It was important for [underclassmen] last year to be in school so they could see what high school is like,” said Jackson Jeffreys, senior. “Juniors and seniors already know the routine, but the freshmen were virtual, which is really different.” 

We’ll be more empathetic and understanding of others’ points of view and situations.”

— Furches

Being stuck at home dealing with online school meant people struggled with healthy social lives. Being alone, people started to reflect on themselves and change as a person. Looking back, a lot of people cringe on their pre-Covid self.

“I used to be so annoying,” Hernandez said. “Before the virus, I was insecure and always trying to fix other people’s problems. Eventually, I figured out I just need to focus on myself.”

2020 was all about moving forward. There are some factors such as age that came into play, but even adults such as Spanish teacher Nora Furches had room to grow. 

“[Quarantine] forced me to accept different things and challenge how I see myself,” Furches said. “Without it, I wouldn’t have grown as fast as I did. I would’ve gotten there, but Covid accelerated the growth that I would naturally have.”

Some people, such as science teacher Chelsea George, changed more noticeably on the outside. Over quarantine, George dyed her hair blue. 

Fashion and self-expression is a lot more fun than I realized,” George said.

At the end of the day, it’s clear that although 2020 was a chaotic year, without it we wouldn’t be the people we are today. Whether that’s good or bad is for you to decide.

“I like to think eventually in the end [Covid] will make us stronger,” Furches said. “We’ll be more empathetic and understanding of others’ points of view and situations.”