ABC’s of COVID

2020 is a year remembered for its unique challenges, one of them being COVID-19. Find out how everyone is spending their time during this pandemic.

Photo Illustration by Elle Rotter

2020 is a year remembered for its unique challenges, one of them being COVID-19. Find out how everyone is spending their time during this pandemic.

By Elle Rotter and Emily Early

During quarantine, most made changes in their daily life and found new ways to keep themselves content at home. Read about how students made the best of it and what their experiences were.

A is for Art

Using an X-acto knife to carefully make flower and line cut-outs, senior Eva Phillips spent lots of time to create a unique art piece. (Courtesy of Eva Phillips)

Senior and Drawing club president Eva Phillips takes AP Drawing because it helps her increase her art knowledge and create unique projects. She has taken drawing classes throughout high school, and plans on majoring in illustration.

“I think drawing helps [with boredom during COVID-19], because it’s something that you can just do for hours and not realize that it’s been so long. It’s a really good way to pass time and just kind of zone out for a little bit,” Phillips said. 

Phillips has been learning to draw from real-life references as well as photos.

“I think I’ve improved a lot. I always saw district art shows with the AP studio students like seniors as an eighth grader and I was like, ‘How do you ever get that good?’ but now I realize that it’s not as hard as I thought,” Phillips said.

B is for Baking with the Braziers 

Acting as her parents’ second-in-command, sophomore Lydia Brazier loves to bake. She loves to help with her mom’s baking business and edit baking videos for the family YouTube channel, ‘Baking with the Braziers’

“I like baking because it’s fun and I get good food afterwards,” Brazier said. “My mom’s a really good baker and not everyone in my house can always eat everything because of allergies, but I don’t have any food restrictions, so I’m the only one who can eat everything.”

C is for Calligraphy

Sophomore Darcie Morgan’s calligraphy pieces designed with pastel colored flowers.  (Photo Illustration by Darcie Morgan)

With the goal of making her own Etsy shop, sophomore Darcie Morgan worked for the last nine months to develop her artistic style and calligraphy skills. 

“I really love being able to make a quote come to life. The process can be tedious, but when I get it right it is so satisfying,” Morgan said. 

Morgan began practicing calligraphy in middle school and has been lettering ever since. Now, she enjoys getting to spread positivity and serving others through her Instagram account. 

“I like to write out quotes that bring me joy or inspire me and share them,” Morgan said. “I started working on calligraphy because I wanted a new challenge. I have always loved art and wanted to learn more.”

D is for Drive-By Celebrations 

On June 7, junior Tre Bell turned 16. The day after, his friends surprised him with a drive-by celebration. 

“It made me feel good. My birthday was at the beginning of summer so it was nice to have my license so I could finally leave the house a little more and get back to hanging out with friends,” Bell said. “It kinda helped me forget about [quarantine] a little bit because all my day consisted of before my birthday was practicing for basketball and playing video games with my friends.”

E is for Exercise

Constantly looking for ways to keep himself content during COVID-19, sophomore Braxton Eddy turned to sports and physical exercise. 

“My favorite part about working out is the feeling I get during and after. It makes me feel less stressed and gets me into better shape for sports,” Eddy said. “Sports have really helped by becoming a sense of normality in all of the craziness going on in the world right now.”

F is for Family Board Games

Freshman Sawyer Ladd sits with family and plays the board game “Azul”. (Courtesy of Sawyer Ladd)

With his family circling around the family room coffee table laughing and making jokes, freshman Sawyer Ladd enjoys playing board games. Some of his favorite games include the card game Hearts and the board game Mysterium. Setting time aside to play games a couple times a week gave their family something to look forward to. 

“My mindset became more positive and more of a growth mindset, since I was trying new games and I was the guy before that didn’t like games the most in my family,” Ladd said. “It affected me by making me happier because I was constantly spending time with my family. [We] playfully attack each other in game, just have fun as a family.”

G is for Gardening 

Planting and pruning, junior Jora Ingrham is often found in her grandparent’s garden on the weekends. Gardening is a habit Ingrham picked up before COVID-19, but one that has grown as she stays home. Ingrham considers gardening to be her chance to move around and exercise more during her quarantine period. She is able to spend time with her grandparents every other weekend.

“My favorite part of gardening is basically spending time with my grandparents,” Ingrham said. “It’s kind of a special thing I have with my grandparents because my grandma shares her knowledge of gardening with me along with my grandpa.”

H is for Holiday Cup

The pile of donations collected throughout the Holiday Cup. All donations are going to the Parkway Pantry, which helps deliver meals and necessities to families in need. (Courtesy of Sarah Sun)

Senior Sarah Sun was contacted by the Parkway Central Student Council with an idea: a Holiday Cup between the four high schools and Fern Ridge. Right before Thanksgiving break, Sun and other students were able to arrange the cup. It included a spirit week, a point system and a food drive.

“I think the purpose of the Holiday Cup was really to try and lift everyone’s spirits and at least have something,” Sun said. “We were hoping that by making it a competition between the high schools, it would spur some fun rivalry and encourage more people to participate. I hope that it just made some people feel happy to have some sort of event going on. And I hope this is affecting everyone in a positive way.”

The competition between schools would also help the Parkway Pantry, which was hit hard by COVID-19. West High, with a combined daily-participation and donation total of 2951, took the 2020 Holiday Cup.

 “We are proud of each of our high schools for the time, effort and resources that went into this year’s competition,” Parkway Schools Instagram account said.

I is for Illness 

Senior Bella Allgeyer tested positive for COVID-19 on Nov. 12.  Her symptoms included headaches, trouble sleeping and losing her sense of smell. After getting COVID-19 Allgeyer learned the best option is to always be cautious and stay safe. 

“The hardest part about it was not being able to do what I normally do in life and go to work and other things like visit family and friends,” Allgeyer said. “It made me feel kind of sad because I missed a lot of things but overall I didn’t think it was that bad in my experience because I’ve dealt with worse.”

J is for Job 

Working as a cashier at Waterway for 15-20 hours a week, senior Anna Sanders has had to re-learn aspects of her job. Having to make sure customers wear a mask, and sanitizing more than they had before, Sanders is just grateful that she has not been exposed to COVID-19 through her job. 

“Customers come in and constantly complain about wearing the masks which gets to be annoying since we’ve had to wear them for so long and we all have to do it so I don’t feel like complaining is doing anything,” Sanders said. 

K is for Karate 

Getting to decide between online and in-person karate classes freshman Jacob Gordon and his sister, senior Megan Gordon, choose to stay online for their karate lessons. The sibling duo have been practicing karate for most of their lives and are now third degree black belts.

Teaching the tiger class with kids ages four to six, senior Megan Gordon presents one of her students his black belt.  (Courtesy of Megan Gordon )

“The best parts are that it’s a great workout and it’s the place I grew up in,” J. Gordon said. “I’ve learned to adapt and we had to learn to do so very quickly.”

Both siblings have started helping teach younger students. M. Gordon loves teaching the Tiger class even when they cannot be in person. 

“I love to learn and improve whenever I can. I have grown with my patience and being able to be more flexible with plans,” M. Gordon said. “I think I have also grown closer to the people that are close to me in the past nine months, this includes the people I work with and my friends there.” 

L is for Learning a Language

Watching movies from different cultures and in different languages, junior Paige Matthys-Pearce studies Arabic and Spanish while in isolation, learning a total of four languages over the course of her life. She loves finding similarities between languages and knowing their origins. 

“Arabic and Spanish have similarities because a while ago Spain was part of an Islamic Empire where Arabic was the main language and Arabic and French have some similarities because of colonization and global interactions,” Matthys-Pearce said. “ It’s amazing to see these connections across languages that seem so different on the surface, and finding them is almost like a treasure hunt for me.”

An unconventional year brings unconventional ways of learning. Matthys-Pearce loves learning about languages through movies, music and studying on Duolingo.

“I’ve had more time to learn and expose myself to the different languages I’m learning. I’ve gotten a lot better in a shorter amount of time, so much so that I often find myself thinking or even talking in French or Spanish without really knowing it. It just happens,” Matthys-Pearce said.“Because I’m learning different languages and exposing myself to the different grammatical structures of ideas, I’ve noticed that I’ve gotten better at seeing a situation from multiple perspectives. ”

M is for Music 

When COVID-19 caused a nationwide lockdown, sophomore Andrew Martin decided to form a band with some of his friends. As things began to open up again, the band began to perform together aas “Guilty Pleasures.”

Sophomore Andrew Martin and his band “Guilty Pleasures.”  (Courtesy of Andrew Martin)

“This band kept us all busy and happy. We’re all friends and we do stuff that we enjoy doing. It feels good,” Martin said. “I always walk out of practice with a smile.”

They rehearse several times a week, playing different covers of songs. They also plan to start creating music in the future.

“It wouldn’t be a band without messing around with each other,” Kirkwood senior Nathan Vaughn said. “We’re all pretty good at making each other laugh.”

N is for Netflix 

Binge-watching more than 15 different Netflix shows, sophomore Nicole Schade likes to watch shows to de-stress. During quarantine Schade has found new shows to watch like “Banana Fish” and “Stars Align” and has watched nearly 623 episodes. 

“Netflix has done an amazing job keeping me entertained, it has so many different shows and movies to pick from,” Schade said. “This has helped me so much with keeping me busy and even bonding with family though movie nights.”

Schade has found herself being able to be content during quarantine by diving into her favorite fandoms, watching shows and reading fanfics

“I think the best part of watching shows is the social part of it, meeting people who like the same show and bonding over it is amazing,” Schade said. “[Also,] in shows you often see characters struggling with and overcoming their problems, which inspires me to face and overcome my own.”

O is for Online 

Trying to adjust to the new school and new environment, freshman Colton Carl finds it difficult to focus in class and feel a part of the school. However, he feels like it is safer and better to work from home and favors a virtual experience. 

“I don’t exactly feel like a high schooler now since I’m not [learning] in the building,” Carl said. “I went back to school for two days and it was a lot easier and better but I want to be safe during the pandemic so I did not go [the other] two days.”

P is for Photography

Attempting to grow her photography business during a pandemic has been a struggle for senior Isabel Collop. Collop markets her work through her Instagram account, charging $60 an hour for as many locations and outfits as her clients want. 

“Photography has been an escape for me and a way that I can not only express myself but help others as well,” Collop said. “My favorite part of photography is being able to capture things in the moment. I also love seeing the joy on my clients faces when I show them a sneak peak of the photos.”

During a photo shoot junior Sammy Hildebrand learns what it is like being on the other side of the camera.  (Courtesy of Sammy Hildebrand )

Junior Sammy Hildebrand has a similar interest and currently markets her work through her Instagram page. Despite struggling with finding safe times and spaces, Hildebrand is grateful for the time that COVID-19 has given her to explore other types of photography.

“Everyone deserves to feel like a model. The most rewarding part about portrait photography is showing someone the pictures I took of them and seeing their face light up, that is when I know I’ve done my job right,” Hildebrand said. “Overall I have always enjoyed and appreciated art, but photography is by far my favorite form of creative expression because you are taking the real world and real people and turning it into art.”

Facts about quarantining and how to know when to quarantine or self-isolate. ( Infographic by Emily Early and Elle Rotter)

Q is for Quarantine 

During late November, senior Haley Keller was exposed to COVID-19 through a friend. She went into quarantine for two weeks, only allowed in her bedroom and a bathroom.

“Quarantining was not fun for me. I had to stay in my room because if I had the virus, I didn’t want to expose it to my other family members. I felt like I was being held in jail. It was a long two weeks, but I managed to be patient with myself and finish the process,” Keller said.

Keller was eventually able to get a COVID-19 test after her two-week quarantine ended Nov. 29 and tested negative. 

“I want other people to know that they aren’t alone. Tons of people quarantine all the time. I also want people to know that this pandemic should be taken more seriously. It is scary how easily this virus spreads,” Keller said. “Right now it’s only a matter of being safe and taking precautions. Everything will be back to normal before we know it if we stay safe.”

R is for Redecorating

After having the same room since sixth grade, in August 2020 sophomore Emily Kerber decided to redecorate her room to fit her personality more since she has grown and changed. She spent three days painting and organizing. Kerber is still rearranging some little things after starting this project over four months ago. 

“It makes me feel my age and it’s helped me move on from the past like a fresh start to a new year,” Kerber said. “It gave me something to do which helped take my mind off of COVID-19 and everything going on around us.”

S is for Social Distancing

Freshman Eileen Meares rolls her golf bag across the field during a match.
(Shea Gulino)

Freshman Eileen Meares, member of the JV Golf team, has been able to continue her sport, despite COVID-19. Meares does not consider the regulations for the pandemic safety a boundary in golf. While they wear masks and practice social distancing, they are still able to play golf as a team.

“My favorite part of golf is when I get to play with a teammate or a friend,” Meares said. “Golf has helped me make friends who I never would have met otherwise. It has been nice to socialize with people who know about and can help me with golf.”

T is for Tie-Dye 

Last spring, senior Peyton Harris started a tie-dying business. After four months of selling, Harris took a break for the school year but she has continued to love the trend and having her own business. 

“Well for me it wasn’t that hard, considering the purpose of it was for my entertainment during these times,” Harris said. “[My favorite part of this was] seeing what I created when it is all complete.

U is for Under the Weather 

After being diagnosed with COVID-19 on July 14, junior Ellie Moriarity experienced the dangerous realities of the virus. 

“I was lucky enough to get pretty mild symptoms so I just had a little bit of shortness of breath. The worst part was losing my smell and taste. All good [food] tasted gross,” Moriarity said. “I felt really bad. I felt like it was my fault and that I was putting others at risk. So [if you’re quarantined] take it seriously and make most of your time at home.”

V is for Vehicle Repair 

When there is a problem with his parents’ cars, sophomore Jackson Larson likes to repair them himself. From changing the oil to repairing a timing belt, Larson has learned from his dad how to repair vehicles. 

“It feels great that I am trusted to work on my parents’ cars because if my dad could trust me with working on something he uses every day, which could put him in a big risk, then it makes me feel appreciated that something that I enjoy doing is helping others,” Larson said.

Washing your hands is important for fighting germs, especially during COVID-19. 
(Infographic by Elle Rotter and Emily Early)

W is for Wash Your Hands

The unspoken motto of 2020 and 2021: Wash your hands. We encounter and use many things every day, transferring germs with every touch. As soon as we then make contact with our face, those germs enter through our eyes, nose and/or mouth and can make us sick. Washing hands can stop the transfer of germs before they enter our bodies.

X is for Xbox 

After he leaves his last Zoom call of the day, sophomore Devin Tyler picks up his Xbox controller and sits down to play video games. Tyler fills his free time with the games “Rocket League,” “Smite” and “Brawlhalla.” Not leaving his house, this is how he hangs out with his friends. 

“I got my first Xbox in eighth grade, and have been playing video games ever since,” Tyler said. “I play way too many video games because I have so much free time due to COVID-19. It sucks because I would rather be hanging out with my friends in real life, but I make do with what I can.”

Y is for Yoga

CAPTION: Junior Tiffany Ung, along with her cat, poses for her Yoga class, which takes place over Zoom. (Courtesy of Tiffany Ung)

Listening for instructions over a Zoom call on her computer, junior Tiffany Ung rolls out her yoga mat to begin class. Ung is taking yoga as her second physical education course. 

“My favorite part of yoga is not the poses, but the mental aspect of it. In class, we learn about the principles and ethics that people should live by,” Ung said. “I think yoga has made me a better person because I recognize these values explicitly and carry them out to the best of my ability. Yoga gives your mind a break from all the craziness going on. After yoga practice, I always feel more relaxed.”

Z is for Zoom 

Unlike other students, freshman Wilson Clardy explains that his transition to high school has been smooth, considering the year. Clardy also prefers online school using Zoom calls because it feels more relaxed and less stressful, however Clardy does recognize the flaws of Zoom. 

“The hardest part of online is the internet issues because some of my teachers will get kicked out of class or freeze everyday [and] I miss seeing my friends everyday,” Clardy said. “Online has made the transition to high school harder because I have not only had to adapt to high school but I have also had to adapt to a whole new style of learning.”

This story was originally published on Pathfinder on January 8, 2021.