Neha Pubbi | Torrey Pines High School Senior
Approaching one year of the pandemic, teenagers feel hopeful about the vaccine, while having differing opinions on schools reopening and political leadership.
With COVID-19 restrictions, younger community members are feeling worn out. “I am feeling pandemic fatigue from sitting at my desk all day, constantly staring at the computer screen, not being able to leave my house as much, and not having separation between school and home,” Jamie Chin, a sophomore at Westview, said.
In these tough times, teenagers appreciate social interaction.”I’m very grateful to have a good support system, and to be able to play tennis with my supportive teammates and coaches, in a safe environment,” Payton Parker, a junior and tennis player at Torrey Pines High School, said.
While students appreciate extracurricular activities, many are not comfortable with schools reopening.”Because TPHS is a large school, I don’t think reopening would be safe,” Parker said.
Furthermore, teenagers are hoping for a balance with reopening and restrictions.”The stay-at-home order shouldn’t have been lifted, but it’s good that small businesses are able to reopen. My mom has a business, and it’s been hard because she’s has been opening and closing back and forth,” Chin said.
Students have noticed multiple reopening and closing orders from Governor Newsom.”There’s been a lot of back and forth, maybe because he’s getting a lot of pressure from all sides. People need to cooperate with him, but you can’t please everybody,” Parker said.
However, many students are pleased with the Biden administration’s leadership.”Before this administration, it wasn’t even required to wear a mask on government property. They also have the weekly press briefings. He sets an example that the pandemic is serious. He’s guided by science versus personal political gain,” Ashley Hanson, a senior at Torrey Pines High School, said.
Vaccines have become another pandemic talking point.”I was excited to get the vaccine. I took it to volunteer at the hospital and to protect myself against COVID, as its long-term impacts are still unknown. I’m feeling more optimistic because of the vaccine distribution,” Hanson said.
Many teenagers are comfortable with taking a COVID-19 vaccine.”I’m not concerned about the side effects of the vaccine, because I trust the scientists and know the basic fundamentals of how vaccines work,” Chin said.
While teenagers are feeling the length of the pandemic, to them the vaccine represents light at the end of the tunnel.