After the online school order was made for Henrico County Public Schools, students have been working remotely from their homes. In an effort to get a change of scenery, several students have travelled during the pandemic.
Junior Elsa Hoppe is currently staying in Tucson, Ariz. with her mom, sister, and grandparents.
“We had made plans for a long time to come here. It was a really serious decision to make because of the disease and the fact we were going to live with my grandparents. We decided we were only going to go if we were going to be extremely careful and distance ourselves,” said Hoppe.
Travelling during a pandemic comes with new concerns. Hoppe had to take extra safety precautions to make sure that she and her family were being safe.
“We wore masks and goggles. The plane’s occupancy was half capacity; and when we got to my grandparents house, we stayed away from them and wore masks for two weeks,” said Hoppe.
According to Hoppe, the time change was difficult at first, but it motivated her to get some fresh air after class.
“When I first got here (Oct. 23) there was a three hour time change, so I had to get up at 5:40. Then, a week later daylight savings happened so then there was a two hour difference. In the beginning it was difficult to get up so early, but now I like getting up earlier because after school I have the whole day to do whatever I want,” said Hoppe.
Olivia Clement, a senior at Godwin, has also travelled during COVID-19.
“I went with my dad to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and we stayed in a hotel resort for two weeks,” said Clement.
While in Florida, Clement got to visit her grandparents with her dad.
“On the weekend, we went to Naples, Fla. to visit with my grandparents for a few days,” said Clement.
Clement and her dad decided to fly to Florida. According to Clement, safety precautions were implemented at the airport because of the virus.
“[The virus] didn’t affect how we traveled other than the COVID precautions at the airport,” said Clement.
While online school has been a mixed bag for some people, both Clement and Hoppe enjoy it because of their new freedoms.
“I love the freedom that I have and being able to stay in bed and do all of my schoolwork,” said Clement.
“My favorite thing about online school is that I can work independently a lot,” said Hoppe.
A typical day online for most students includes logging onto class, eating lunch, and later working on homework in the afternoon. Hoppe, however, has a different routine.
“I wake up at 6:40 [and] do my first two classes then when everyone eats lunch I eat breakfast. Then I go back to class [and] do two more classes then when the school day is over I eat lunch. In the afternoon, I do homework, go for a walk, and watch movies with my grandparents,” said Hoppe.
Gabby Kalinovsky, another Godwin senior, has also travelled during the pandemic.
“[I went to] Longboat Key, Fla. and Chicago [with] my mom and her fiance,” said Kalinovsky.
Kalinovsky, like Hoppe and Clement, also enjoys the benefits of online school.
“I love just not being in the school building. I don’t dislike much about online school,” said Kalinovsky.
Since travelling during a global pandemic brings new safety concerns, Hoppe recommends that most stay home if they can.
“I would not recommend other people to go places. We left before the surge of cases and were very safe. We treated the situation with extreme care and wore protective glasses and doctor’s masks. When we traveled to get here many people weren’t being as serious with precautions,” said Hoppe.
Kalinvosky, on the other hand, thinks that if you have the opportunity to travel, you should.
“I guess if you have the opportunity it’s pretty cool,” said Kalinovsky.
Being a student during a global pandemic hasn’t been easy for most, but travelling has made it more enjoyable for Clement.
“[Travelling] was so much fun and it just made me so much happier being in a different setting for a few weeks,” said Clement.