Coronafied Communication

How Maize South and the surrounding community are keeping connected during the month long shelter-in-place order.

By Piper Pinnetti, Victor Nguyen, Ethan Schenkel, and Megan Ta

Everyday, radios and television are providing the world with updates on the COVID-19 virus while hundreds of schools have closed across the United States while converting to online school.

However, students of Maize South are finding new and unique ways to communicate with one another, from various social media platforms to gaming consoles.

Social media platforms since the quarantine began have grown in popularity while trying to contact friends and teachers.

Graphic by Megan Ta-OneMa1ze Broadcasting
It’s been over a month since USD 266 released students for Spring Break on Friday, March 13. Students now find themselves playing the free version of Call of Duty Modern Warfare’s War Zone and using gamer headsets to talk to one another. Instagram and Twitter come in second as another preferred method of communicating digitally with one another.Isaac Glover, a Maize South junior, has stayed connected to his friends using applications. For instance, he is using Snapchat and Instagram to share memes, texts, and send pictures to communicate.

With school online for the rest of the 2019-2020 year, Issac Glover has also used other ways to connect teachers that still set up weekly schedules for their determined students through email. He uses Zoom, a web-based tool used for video conferences between teachers and classes, as well as Google Meet.

“The calls are alright, but I don’t think I learn very effectively looking at a computer screen for the entire school day,” said Glover. “I enjoy being social with friends and I personally think getting out of the house helps stimulate my brain.”

Although the calls still give students a chance to talk to teachers and ask questions within the forty minute classes, the calls are not held five days a week as most are meant to be and students are no longer given as much time to practice, learn, and ask questions as they’re used to.

While he is still adjusting to the new online schedule, Glover understands the teachers and staff are “trying to continue my education as best as they can given the current circumstances.”

While most of the Maize South student body is communicating through social media, senior Connor Jones is keeping in touch with online and school friends through his Xbox and a headset. “With the quarantine, I have more time to spend playing games with my friends,” Jones said. “It is great, I stay up until three in the morning with them, and it is okay.”

As a senior, Jones has lost out on his senior prom and possibly the graduation ceremony.

“I just want to hang out with my friends, go to prom, and graduation,” Jones said. “But at least I can game and do work from my room.”

Junior Angel Aviles has been staying with his brother-in-Law, Eli, during the entire quarantine, and has had the company of his father, siblings, and cousins to keep adventures in their lives during this pandemic as well. During the past few weeks, Aviles has stayed connected by having multiple marshmallow fights with Eli and friends while playing various board games.

“It’s annoying cleaning it up the next morning, but worth it,” Aviles said. “It adds to the hilarious memories I’ll have about this quarantine in the future.”

This story was originally published on The Bullseye on April 17, 2020.