Some students still hanging out, but online

Guillermo Hernandez, Report

The majority of Morton East students are hanging out with friends online, but not in person during the pandemic.  

According to Health care, at first, about 40% of people who have covid-19 have no symptoms. So, friends might feel well and look well, but still have the virus.  Until now, people who are blood type A are more likely to get infected by the virus and people with blood type O have the least chance of catching the virus. Over time, the virus could live on surfaces, the virus could live in cardboard for about 24 hours and 2 to 3 days in plastic and stainless steel. In a random survey of Morton East students, 64 percent of students said they aren’t hanging out with friends in person.  

“This is a tough question because I strongly feel that it is important for our mental health to be with friends during such a stressful time. On the other hand, I don’t really think it is safe because most people feel like they can relax more around their friends (not wear masks, give handshakes, hug, share food, etc.) which can easily spread the virus. I think that if friends can be responsible when they hang out, like do outdoor activities where you can socially distance, then it can be safe! As I mentioned in the last question, I think if everyone can be responsible and hang out where they can be socially distant such as doing something outdoors, then it is okay to hang out with your friends during the pandemic. I believe that you can lose friends if you do not make any attempt to communicate with those friends. It is important to stay in touch somehow. You can call, text, facetime, connect on social media, or bundle up and hang out outside as often as you can to stay in touch,” counselor Claudia Alvarez said.   

According to the Pew Research Center, most teens hang out with their friends in an online setting and made the school the only place where friends used to hang out.  

“I used to hang out with my friend before the pandemic, but now I can’t because my friend’s parents are stricter and won’t let him go outside as much, but we still play video games,” sophomore Christopher Hernandez said.  

Additionally, playing sports with a mask could be difficult, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends bringing supplies to help you and others stay healthy—for example, masks (bring extra), hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher, and drinking water.    

“If the sports are organized and there are adults/coaches monitoring the sports I think that they can be played safely. However, if students are out playing sports socially then the risk of getting Covid increases. There are a few factors when it comes to friends playing sports during the pandemic. First, there are certain sports that are safer to play but those are the ones that are individual sports or small groups sports. These could be tennis or golf. These have no physical contact, and you can social distance easily. The problem here is students are not participating in these activities regularly. Today’s students will want to participate in sports like basketball, soccer, or football. These require a larger group, physical contact and distancing can’t always be followed. The other factor that may be difficult to manage when playing sports is wearing a mask. I coached over the summer when the state began allowing some sports to compete. I had to coach in a mask and that was hard enough. I cannot imagine how athletes feel while playing in a mask. I would assume that once social games begin students would begin to remove masks because they are uncomfortable. Lastly, students want to trust their friends so let their guard down around them. This means that masks will be off, handshakes will happen, and social distancing will not occur. Students should follow all the safety guidelines that have been in place since the pandemic started. They need to keep their distance, wear a mask, and sanitize a lot. It would be best to have your own sports equipment to use but that is not always possible. If they decide to play a group sport like football, they can modify the game as much as possible. For example, maybe instead of 2 hand touch they do one hand or even flag,” gym teacher Jeanine Yepez said.