Focused on the future: DGS students respond to COVID-19 complications


Alex Miranda

Students are utilizing their school-administered chromebooks to work from home, primarily through the Google Classroom app, until further notice.

On March 13, DGS took precautionary measures against the spread of COVID-19 by implementing e-learning days in place of scheduled school attendance. The tentative plan is to return to school on April 6, but already many extracurricular events beyond that date have been canceled. Though initially some students have called this decision a “corona-cation,” the reality of this interruption has been felt widely throughout the DGS community.

For many students, the implementation of e-learning has resulted in difficulties–but not all of them are technical. While teachers have provided assignments for students to focus on, the responsibility to complete that work falls solely on the student. Freshman Itzel Lozano weighs the advantages against the disadvantages of e-learning.

“I personally don’t like doing things online because it’s more distracting; I have access to the internet which makes it easier for me to get distracted from what I’m actually supposed to be doing. I’m less stressed but I find it easier to not do my work because there’s no one to force me to do it. My parents work, and without a teacher it’s just up to me to force myself to get things done,” Lozano said.

Overall, her feelings toward e-learning are clear: “I don’t feel I’m learning as well as I could be,” Lozano said.

Beyond the daily schoolwork, students are beginning to wonder how the COVID-19 pandemic will affect their plans for standardized testing. Junior Nirmal Nathan speculates how standardized testing will have to adapt to this uncertain future.

“I know for AP [exams] there is some discussion about take home or online testing, and I assume the College Board will have the same response… I don’t necessarily think it will be fair because I realize that some people don’t have immediate access to the internet at home. I think that will be a problem because if we don’t have the same general access to the internet, it will give an unfair advantage to some students,” Nathan said.

For juniors specifically, the question of how this change will affect the future college admissions process is still unanswered.

“I think [college applications becoming] test optional may definitely be an alternative given the current situation. I think it will affect us negatively because we are going to have to find other ways to make ourselves stand out. We are the first class that is going to have to deal with this,” Nathan said.

As with everything else related to the response of COVID-19, “the biggest scare is the uncertainty,” Nathan said.

In addition to academic complications, participants in extracurricular activities are now facing disappointment due to event and sport season cancellations.

Sophomore Kelsey Casella is a member of the DGS girls track and field team. As an athlete on this award-winning team, Casella expresses her feelings toward the track season’s cancellation.

“We’ve won track conference for 15 years in a row. I’m really upset about this season being canceled, especially because of our streak, but I know that everyone is in the same boat and we aren’t the only team that has to go through this… I don’t think the cancellation will affect the team long-term because I know a lot of the girls are still super dedicated and most of the team is practicing on their own,” Casella said.

Despite being unable to compete this season, Casella remains optimistic and highlights the perseverance of DGS sports programs.

“I hope DGS sports are able to come back from this situation with the same if not more dedication and that our team can continue our success when we are given the opportunity to compete again. Our coaches talk to us a lot about facing adversity and practicing stoicism, so I know that we can get through this and come back even stronger next season,” Casella said.

Seniors in particular are confronted with the possibility of missing out on pivotal high school memories. Senior David Peter voices his concern for the undetermined fate of prom and graduation.

“It’s kind of scary because prom is most likely going to be cancelled as of now. Worst case scenario is that [graduation] could be cancelled, and that’s definitely a possibility… Graduation is one of the things I’ve been looking forward to since freshman year, and no other class has the possibility of their graduation getting cancelled, so it’s a bummer,” Peter said.

Ultimately, Peter believes the most important concern is our health. He encourages his peers to take this opportunity to practice social distancing and keep in mind those who are at risk.

“My mom is a nurse so she’s definitely going to be working with patients who have the virus, which means I could get it. I know that I’m not at risk, but as a cancer survivor, my mom has underlying health conditions. If I could say one thing to everyone else, it would be to stay inside just for the good of the people who are at risk,” Peter said.