Senior returns from Covid-19 quarantine

Dubbink received test results after attending first day of school

Thanks+to+Covid-19%2C+senior+Lauren+Dubbink+missed+the+first+few+days+of+her+last+year+of+high+school.+

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Thanks to Covid-19, senior Lauren Dubbink missed the first few days of her last year of high school.

Ellie Moores, Reporter

Lauren Dubbink was looking forward to starting her senior year after participating in the long held tradition of covering the Hill with toilet paper. 

But after only one day at school, Dubbink was informed that she had been exposed to Covid-19. This meant that she would have to quarantine for the next two weeks, missing out on her first days as a senior.

It was a regular Friday of babysitting for Dubbink when her mother called to inform her of her exposure to the virus. “I was immediately worried because my dad is in a high risk category and obviously I didn’t want to infect the kids I was with,” Dubbink said. She also attended TP night along with the rest of the Senior Class, which concerned her.

No one wants to start off their senior year isolated from their friends and teachers, but Dubbink understood that it was a necessary precaution. “I was definitely angry but at least I knew there was a reason. Obviously it was important that I quarantine,” she said.

But Dubbink found that she liked virtual learning this year better than she did the previous year. Last year, students and teachers logged onto Zoom from their beds and living rooms. But this year the online students participate in class as they would on any other day, just from a remote location. “It’s kind of like you’re more in class because there are still people participating more than if you’re all on Zoom.”

Although virtual learning has improved since last year, Dubbink explained that she still faced some obstacles. Up until recently, the school required online students to use a program called Edustream to attend classes. Many students, including Dubbink, struggled to get the application to work.

Frequently, classmates had to FaceTime her so she wouldn’t miss out on class. On top of the technology, Dubbink also mentioned that not all teachers knew how to utilize the platforms that allowed her to attend class. Both students and teachers have had to adjust to new apps and software to accommodate online learning.

Even on a Zoom, you’re not participating and raising your hand.”

— Senior Lauren Dubbink

While Dubbink was grateful that she did not have to be completely absent from class, she said she felt as if she was missing out. Not getting to talk with her classmates and teachers was difficult. Dubbink said that “even on a Zoom, you’re not participating and raising your hand.” 

Not only did Dubbink have to miss out on school, but also social activities. While quarantined, Dubbink couldn’t attend cross-country practice or go to the football games with her friends. Human interaction was limited to her family.

After missing out on the beginning of her senior year, Dubbink said she was “so excited to finally get to go back.” However, she did not have the chance to become acquainted with the changes to the schedule and other aspects of school life, so returning to school presented some challenges. “I didn’t know which way the hallways went and we were like a week and a half into school,” she said. Along with the new hallway system, Dubbink also said she was not used to not having flex in the schedule.

But despite having to adjust to the new changes, Dubbink said she has enjoyed being back at school and is excited to catch up with her teachers and classmates.