Being thankful for Covid

Isabella Chen, Staff Writer

Thanksgiving is a time of togetherness and gratitude with friends and family. It also serves as a break for students during the school year and is used to catch up on sleep or assignments. Over the past two years, everything we considered the norm before has drastically changed. Covid-19 has caused us to be very isolated and separated from our friends and family. However, out of that period of isolation, we can now appreciate and be grateful for the “normal” social connections we used to take for granted.

The return to a regular school schedule with activities and events in full swing became a release for everyone following a year and a half of disruption. Fremd’s Halloween Fest received a large crowd with fantastic costumes. Fall concerts and shows are at their best when there is a live audience. We can once again see friends during lunch and at extracurricular events.

“Human beings are an ultrasocial species — and our nervous systems expect to have others around us,” says Emiliana Simon-Thomas at The University of California, Berkeley. That means our bodies tend to work better when we aren’t alone.

According to the Center on Reinventing Public Education, thirty to forty percent of young people experienced negative impacts on their social-emotional health during the pandemic. Because of the isolation of quarantine, they tend to be more vulnerable to anxiety, depression, and antisocial behaviors, so the return to in-person school has helped students have more interactions with their peers.

Through engaging in conversations and socializing in class, students participate in valuable social practices. The school day provides students with structure and routine while also allowing them to gain access to extracurricular activities, which can help them feel excited about school and gain valuable relationships. Because of this, students have stronger social connections, helping them create stronger relationships at school with teachers and classmates.

Covid-19 allows us to appreciate the previous sense of freedom we enjoyed as we often do not appreciate privileges until we lose them. Even though we have to wear masks and some are anxious about the unknown risks of being infected, we have to feel gratitude this Thanksgiving for our social life coming back towards normalcy during this school year. The definition of a normal life for every person has also changed, and there is no neat solution to finding out the norms of human connection again. Still, we can use the month of Thanksgiving to stay positive, express gratitude, and remember to acknowledge and appreciate what we have.