students reflect on covid changes, including some they’ll miss

By Natalie Mowbray, ’22

Staff Writer

With all the new measurements adopted this year to stop the spread of Coronavirus, students and staff at HHS have had to acclimate to a lot of changes. Now, students do things at school that were previously unheard of, such as taking mask breaks and eating lunch with plexiglass barriers between them and their friends. From one-way staircases to socially distant seating, there are many things that students cannot wait to bid goodbye as this unprecedented school year comes to an end. But, perhaps surprisingly, there are some provisions that students would like to see carried into the fall.

One of the most common complaints was about the bathrooms, which have been restricted and monitored to keep groups of students from gathering in small spaces.

“I don’t like how there are now only two bathrooms open to the entire school,” said Rachael Meehan. “I have to figure out which ones are open and it ends up taking a lot of time and wandering around to figure it out.”

Molly McGlame agreed. “I can’t wait for all of them to be open,” she said. “I can’t stand never knowing which ones are open and having to walk around the arrows to figure it out.”

The arrows, dictating which ways traffic can flow in the halls and which stairs can be taken up or down, were another thing students can’t wait to get rid of.

“I feel like it’s going to be a huge improvement once the arrows are gone,” said Libby Hutchins. “There’s nothing more frustrating than walking around to get to class just to find out that you are on the wrong stairs, especially for the upperclassmen who have been in the building already and have seen the normal flow of students. It’s definitely something that we all want to go away.”

Ava Toner won’t miss the plexiglass in classrooms and the lunchroom. “Nobody enjoys talking to someone through a screen,” she said. “It can be super hard to hear people talking and the glare makes it hard to keep a conversation going. I just want us to be able to go back face to face.”

As much as students disliked many of the new implementations this year, there are some changes they would like to make permanent. Many grew to enjoy the mask breaks twice a day, which gave them a chance to get outside. As the weather warmed up, the mask breaks became like a quick recess, a chance to play wall ball or cornhole and stretch your legs.

“Before, we would be stuck in the building all day even when the weather was beautiful,” said McGlame. 

Meehan seconded that, saying she believed the mask breaks helped students stay more focused. “In the morning, just getting some steps in and fresh air has helped me stay awake and alert.” 

Since the doors in the cafeteria have been opened, people also have liked using the courtyard more frequently.

“Eating lunch outside is a lot better than eating in the cafeteria sometimes,” said Hutchins. “The fresh air on a nice day out and being able to step outside of the crowded cafeteria can be really relieving on a stressful day.

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