Pandemic life: three years after the schools shut down in NYC


The three-year anniversary of COVID-19 marks a time of reflection and resolutions going forward into a more normal future.

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Today marks three years since NYC schools shut down during the COVID-19 pandemic. Students at Townsend Harris High School reflected on what has changed since then and what precautions they continue to take as the virus still spreads and mutates.

At the start of the pandemic, there were a set of procedures and rules set in place to ensure the health of the public. Washing hands as frequently as possible while singing “Happy Birthday,” wearing masks or gloves to complete normal tasks like grocery shopping, and isolating yourself from the outside world became the norm in a pandemic society.

Sophomore Loise Arcega recalled how “scary it was going outside for the first time” as the COVID-19 cases continued to rise and New York City became the center of the pandemic in the United States. Senior Allyanne Ilasin also recalled her fears. “My mother is a healthcare worker, so knowing she was sometimes in direct contact with individuals with the virus definitely spiked my anxiety,”she said.

To ease this anxiety, in a time of such uncertainty, many THHS students picked up new hobbies and skills. Sophomore Fatima Hameed said she started to take walks outside, and Senior Nailah Alladeen said she started to exercise more. 

Allyanne said “having a strong support system and [her] family throughout the pandemic is the main thing that got [her] here today.” 

Sophomore Goria Jaimon spoke about spending lots of time with family during the initial lockdown. “Now that we are out of lockdown, I realize how special and sacred those moments were. If there was one good thing about the pandemic happening, it would be that,” she said.

Even though Covid may seem like a past memory, cases are still spreading and the virus is still out there. Students like Fatima and Goria still take proper precautions to prevent the spread of Covid by carrying hand-sanitizer with them at all times. Senior Umme Apsara said that everyone should still keep the same sanitary precautions they had during the lockdown to ensure that the pandemic doesn’t repeat itself. 

“I understand wanting to put the pandemic behind us and return to normalcy, but in order to do that, we all need to remember to continue to put our health first.”