When Los Altos High School announced that it would close its face-to-face instructions in March of 2020, I was unsure of what lay ahead. But as the months flew by, I came to realize what the pandemic truly meant for me.
At first, I characterized the slow progression of education as a lack of functioning electronics as Wi-Fi crashed again and again. Then, I realized that it was not just the Internet that caused problems; it was the lack of social connection between us and the world. The teachers I could once talk to, and the friends I could once consult shrank into email addresses that I could not remember. I realized how disconnected I was with my peers, teachers, and the rest of the world, as I was waiting for people (like helicopters) to rescue me.
The pandemic forced me to work on improving myself. I learned to email my teachers to ask questions instead of waiting for their instructions to arrive in my mailbox. I learned to make group chats to reach out and connect with my peers. And most of all, I learned to take ownership for improved academic and social integrations during the most restricting of times.
Recently, people in my communities are asking the questions such as “How we will teach the year 2020 to the students of 2030?” While some propose that we teach the students of 2030 about public health calamities and heightened climate change worries, others advocated for teaching institutional failures, political turmoil, and Black lives matter protests. To add to the debate, I propose that we teach the students of 2030 the importance of adaptation, perseverance, and self-reliance.
In order to teach others, I realize that we must first work on ourselves.
Let us all be our own Dr. Fauci.
Safety signs are to protect us. The first line of protection is always our own behavior, because it is not possible for Dr. Fauci to be everywhere to remind us of safety rules and measures.
DON’T: WEAR A MASK UNDER YOUR NOSE.
It’s impossible to alleviate the spread of coronavirus if we wear a mask without covering our nose. Just. Don’t. Do. It.
DON’T: SEE IT ALL FROM OUR COMPUTER SCREEN.
There are plenty of ways we can engage ourselves. Write a letter to a local newspaper editor, or building support for a cause we care about, such as cyber security, public land protection, and access to clean water, can make our day exciting and fun.
DON’T: FEEL LIKE A PRISONER IN HOME.
Take a walk in the neighborhood. Soon, we will leave the bustling world behind in a more relaxed and peaceful setting.
2020 is tough. There have been times when I ask myself, “When will be an end to it?” Determined, I have been taking important precautions to keep myself and others safe and from contracting COVID-19 while learning to be proactive in everything that I do.
One day, if I do get to teach the students of 2030, I hope that I will have stories of adaptation, courage, and collaboration to tell.
Submitted by Henry Huang, Santa Clara County – Los Altos Hills.