Staff Editorial

What Spectrum staff learns from challenges of COVID-19

Staff+Editorial

Julia Zhang

Maggie Seidel, Business Manager

Despite the many hardships that 2020 has posed, this year has simultaneously offered new perspectives about human interaction, societal issues, and personal health. No community has been immune to the effects of COVID-19 which has truly demonstrated the interconnectedness of our globe. These significant challenges have renewed a sense of community for many, but they have also resulted in a void of necessary human interaction. 

This year has shown the importance of every moment and every action of each day. With school now being remote, an outset of time in isolation has resulted in a yearning for increased human interaction. Eating meals alone, such as lunch, has been a change from the stimulating cafeteria environment at school. This year has demonstrated having important time spent with friends and family is, because eating lunch alone at home does not have the same restorative benefits as spending time with friends. 

This has inspired some to utilize technology to strengthen bonds between classmates, friends, and family. Even though many families will not partake in their typical holiday traditions, throughout the year many families have corresponded with each other with greater frequency through online platforms. The increase of time spent alone and at home has revealed a need for planned activities and connection. 

In addition to family bonding, spending time with friends and loved ones has posed a greater challenge with the COVID-19 health regulations. As such, these added obstacles have required a greater effort to plan a safe way to interact with friends. In turn, this has deepened bonds between friends, as this concentrated effort reveals significant care for one another. 

Additionally, this year has underlined the importance of mental and physical health. The need to exercise and prioritize self-care has heightened because of these stressful circumstances. Not only has the general anxiety about the virus resulted in a greater need for self-care, but also the added introspection about personal needs and goals during a period of extended isolation and self-reflection. 

Learning how to cope has been of paramount importance. Spending an entire day on Zoom is challenging, and therefore it is necessary to allot portions of the day for individual needs, such as exercising or taking a walk outside. 

Self-introspection has also led to an enhanced global awareness and understanding. This year has been notable for many reasons, including social justice topics rising to the forefront, a rise in social media news, and a contentious election. The conversations surrounding all of these noteworthy events during the year have become more frequent and impactful. Families converse with multi-generations about current day issues, and that has led to deeper bonds and discussions. 

There has been a general revival in social activism and engagement, and there has been an emphasis on self-education surrounding these topics. This has led many to openly recognize the problems of systems in the United States, mainly those that perpetuate systemic racism and perhaps the electoral college system. It has inspired many to act, share, and encourage others to support our community, nation, and globe in a meaningful way. 

Although, this sentiment has not rung true for everyone. It  revealed a prominent divide between groups. Namly, this has shed light on the differing values systems of groups of people: a care for other people versus a care for oneself. 

As this year concludes, we are confronted with many challenges that need remedy. Our communities are divided, our communities face illness, and our communities need reform. As we enter a new year, we must remember the lessons of care for others and care for safe human interaction that we have been given this year. The end of this year is not simply the conclusion of three hundred and sixty-five days. Rather, it is an offering to recognize our issues and unite as a global  community for a better future.