The Impact of Quarantine on Staff and Students
By Devon Brunelle
You’re sitting at your desk at home, twiddling your thumbs while your teacher rants on a Google Meeting. You're not absorbing a word they say and you're feeling exhausted. Sound familiar? That's because you and everyone else are doing the same thing.
Yusuf Najjar is a grade 12 Drama student at Canterbury High School. Yusuf has an active life outside of school with business and charity initiatives, and he even works as a flight dispatcher at the Ottawa Flying Club, but nonetheless, like many students he's feeling the stress of school that's so vastly changed from last year.
"Yeah, I have way too much on my plate, but I like a challenge," he says. "(But) sometimes I feel like it's not enough."
Normally students like Yusuf would be looking forward to their major art productions and, of course, graduation. But this year, everything is on hold.
Students aren't the only ones impacted by the confusing and messy schedule. When I talked to Caroline McAteer in the student support room about how she feels, she replied: "I feel helpless when they are at home; a lot of my students have difficulty learning independently." She goes on, "Students of mine have been in a dilemma trying to focus for the extended period. Not only is it tiring, taking breaks is complicated thanks to the extreme volume of information that's squeezed into those four hours that they need to be there for it”
Ms. McAteer is among many of the staff at Canterbury feeling the stress. A colleague of hers, Mary Peeling, was also asked a few questions by me. When asked “How many of those students are struggling with the quarantine?” she responded saying “not many," however she's pleased with the fact that students are seeming to power through this difficult time. She also encourages any students who need help, to reach out to her or whoever their guidance counselor is.
There are resources available to you if you need help, don't feel ashamed of wanting or needing support. I 100% encourage you to seek help if you need it. Tell a friend about how you are feeling. I want you to remember that you're not alone during this, we are all in this together!