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Students express views on pandemic response


March 20, 2020

Benjamin Bauer

The world has been flipped upside down by the quick spread of COVID-19. Over the last week, it has had a great impact on the United States and here in Minnesota, especially with high school students who don't have a school to go.

Concerts, sports, and other major events are being postponed or canceled due to the rapid spread of the coronavirus. Schools are closed for almost two weeks, maybe more, and teachers are making plans in case schools don't reopen and classes have to be offered online.

Also, on the sports side of things, the Minnesota High School League canceled all high school sporting events through at least April 6, including state girls and boys basketball tournaments.

The Pine Knot News interviewed three Cloquet High School students to hear their thoughts on the pandemic: junior Benjamin Bauer, sophomore Faith Boling and senior Jordan Allen.

Q What do you think about the possibility of doing online school for a few weeks or even the rest of the year?

Benjamin Bauer: Well the idea is good, but getting kids to do their own work by themselves is going to be a challenge. It's a good short-term solution, but if it lasts longer than a couple of weeks, it's going to make things tough. It's definitely something I don't look forward to doing.

Faith Boling: I feel like students won't be as accountable for their work but I don't think it'd be an awful idea; it's better than not doing any work at all.

Jordan Allen: It's going to be rough. The problem is we have to get kids to do it. And the other problem is the fact that some kids don't have internet at home; that's going to be a problem. Also, it's going to be hard to keep kids motivated to do their work, especially when they're not at school.

Q How scared are you by the threat of COVID-19?

Allen: I'm not scared for my own personal safety or health. It's not me, or kids like me, that I'm worried about, it's the kids with underlying conditions and the elderly individuals. I am concerned about some of my older grandparents, but it's life. Disease has always been disease, and at the end of the day, there's just no way we can say this is the one that's going to do it until it does.

Bauer: I'm not extremely worried about my personal safety, as it's not supposed to affect the younger generation, but I'm definitely worried about getting it and then carrying it home or to other people that could be at risk.

Boling: I'm not really scared for me personally, I guess, because younger people aren't really being affected by it. Just the possibility of the elderly being harmed by it is kind of a threat, but I'm not really scared personally.

Q What do you think the end result of COVID-19 will be?

Faith Boling

Boling: I hope that America and the rest of the world will start taking more safety precautions ahead of time from now on. Also, just becoming more aware that these viruses are out there, and that just because they're killed once doesn't mean they can't come back.

Bauer: I think in the end it's not a question about how many people are going to get it or if a lot of people will get it, because I think a lot of people will get the virus; I think it's just a question of how long long this takes to get rid of.

Allen: It's just going to be different. I know a lot of seniors who are worried that a lot of things are going to be canceled and that us seniors aren't going to be able to have the experience that everybody else does, but that's the way it goes sometimes. There are times where you just can't predict anything and the best you can do is just keep going and hope that it ends up not turning into something bigger.

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