COVID-19: How the Pandemic Has Affected Students Thus Far

The+Corona+Virus+has+impacted+events+and+gatherings+world+wide+due+to+how+contagious+the+virus+is.

Courtesy of CDC

The Corona Virus has impacted events and gatherings world wide due to how contagious the virus is.

Kiersty McKee, Staff Reporter

COVID-19 or the Coronavirus disease has become a pandemic and is affecting populations worldwide.

The disease is spread via person-to-person contact. Being within 6-feet of an infected individual or being exposed to respiratory droplets produced by an infected individual are the most common methods of contraction.

Although there have only been a handful of confirmed cases among Hawaiʻi residents, organizations throughout the state, including Kamehameha Schools, have taken precautions to prevent the further spread of the virus.

The 100th annual Song Contest, originally set to take place on Mar. 20, was postponed through an announcement made by Poʻo Kula Taran Chun, Poʻo Kumu Wendy Erskine, and Kumu Zachary Lum. Chun said, “We are exploring alternatives that will allow us to continue to celebrate the spirit and pride of Song Contest that may look different from the way to which we are all accustomed.”

Many schools, including the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, have announced that students will complete courses online through mid-April, prompting students throughout the state to question when their schools will begin to do the same. Currently, there are no Hawaiʻi Department of Education or Private School closures.

Large annual statewide events such as the Merrie Monarch Festival and the Hawaiʻi State Science and Engineering Fair have also been canceled for the safety of the general public and is affecting many students and their families.

Senior Anna Grondolsky said, “I think that given Hawaiʻi currently only has two confirmed cases, it’s a little dramatic to cancel so many events such as the state science fair. A lot of student researchers worked for months or even years to produce these projects, and to just have it be canceled out of fear is unfair.”

On the continent, many businesses, schools, and corporations have decided to close to prevent the spread of the virus among the population, including the closures of tourist attractions like Disneyland and the NCAA’s cancellation of the “March Madness” basketball tournaments.

As college decision day is approaching, many seniors had planned to visit their potential schools in order to make a decision, however, many colleges and universities have canceled fly-in programs and campus tours due to the virus.

Senior Nicolas Tanaka said, “I was initially planning to go to CalTech and MIT’s preview programs in mid-April. Due to COVID-19, both of these events have been canceled. I strongly feel like I am making this decision blindly because a large part of the deciding factor is how I actually see myself fitting in at that college.”

The virus was initially discovered on Dec. 31, 2019, and it takes up to a year to develop a vaccine. Current cancellations are only projected until mid-April.

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