OPINION: COVID-19: A Local Youth’s Perspective

OPINION: COVID-19: A Local Youth’s Perspective

When I started asking my peers about their thoughts on the recent outbreak of COVID-19, I expected some widely varying answers, but what I got was much more true to the character of our generation.

When asked about self-quarantining, a lot of them said they weren’t, but knew that they should be. Most of them practice things like social distancing, but just aren’t willing to stay home as much as older generations might be. Despite that, young adults and other youth do understand their responsibilities. All but one of my peers stated that they understand that doing their part to mitigate the rapid spread of this virus is important.

Many of those that I interviewed said that they understood how to use social distancing and other safety protocols to protect themselves. Young adults know how to utilize these safety precautions and do, which is definitely a big reason that almost nobody I talked to had any questions for me.

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Everyone feels they know what they need to do and what their role is, but young adults aren’t so sold.

Some young adults feel like all they have seen are statistics, and they aren’t worried about them. One of my friends said, “I don’t see the consequences first-hand, I guess. I haven’t seen anything but numbers online and they don’t worry me.” A lot of younger members of the community don’t see much risk because the most fatalities that COVID-19 has caused have been older folks. Many of the statistics we’ve seen say that people with pre-existing issues are also at increased risk. Both of those pieces of information push some young adults into feeling above the threat. 

Listen to Kaden’s interview with his friend Gavin:

Social media is a big factor nowadays, especially in the younger population. No surprise there, but the effects that some of my peers are realizing are surprising. Everyone I talked to referenced internet culture and how that culture has affected their views of the virus. In one audio interview, a friend named Henry stated that he felt some of the online cultures found creative ways to laugh along with their members. Others said they feel like social media and the internet has amplified their fear about COVID-19. 

Not everything has been ho-hum and dreary though. 

Some positives have come out of this COVID-19 awareness. People are starting to notice and realize the things that stayed the same, day-to-day. More than once I had a friend state, “You don’t know what you have until it’s gone.” Along with self-isolation and social distancing we have received some humility. Many of my interviewees said they believe everyone will come out on the other side as more appreciative and caring people. That would be nice!

Online Education: At Zoom’s Gate

Along with many of the closures of public places enforced by the federal and state government has come a widespread closure of schools we attend. 

Online schooling seemed to be a point of contention among the younger crowd I interviewed. Many of them said they weren’t ready for the responsibility and self-regulation that comes along with this kind of education, while others said they were wholeheartedly embracing and enjoying the experience.

Time management is tricky, and the best thing parents can do to aid their child with this change is to be understanding. Working with your child is extremely important anyway. Setting goals with a kiddo of any age is going to be paramount to our academic success during this time. Compartmentalizing everything is important too. Make sure you carve out some family time and time to relax. We might need our space as well.

In my opinion, technology is something that is making these crazy times more simple. It’s keeping us in touch with many others nationwide, without having to make person-to-person contact.

Listen to Kaden’s interview with his friend Henry:

Products like Zoom, Google Hangouts, and Skype are helping people keep in contact with one another. My generation has found some creative ways to utilize these, and though they’re not the “real” thing, they provide enough contact to get through the shutdown — for now.

Overall, kids are kids. Everyone’s a little headstrong as a young adult. We’re still figuring life out, and this is a big wrench thrown into our lives. 

Nobody has a cure-all, especially us. We all have different thoughts and opinions on the matter, and we’re all on our way to understanding how to be safer.

Young adults understand the risk, but we all have different thoughts on how realistic it is, and how worried we should be.

One thing is for certain though, we will never understand why people think they need so much toilet paper.

Opinions in this article are the author and interviewees only and not representative of SweetwaterNOW.