The reality of virtual learning

Georgia Gansereit, Opinion Editor

For the past six months, a global pandemic has altered the way of life for all people. In early March of this year, schools across the country closed due to COVID-19, causing a complete switch to virtual learning. Everyone had to be quarantined in their homes for weeks, not knowing when it would be safe to be in public again. Everything was new, confusing, and let’s face it–a major pain. 

However, the new reality of virtual learning was a curveball that everybody had to navigate simultaneously. Although it was difficult, many people–myself included–found comfort in knowing that everyone was going through it together. 

However, come August of this year, everything has changed. Many public schools are online until further notice, and Mount Pisgah has brand new protocols set in place. This has put our school in a fortunate position since we have the opportunity to attend classes in person–a simple luxury no one ever thought they would be thankful for.

But not all Mount Pisgah students are able to attend school in person, so virtual learning is the reality for many during this time.

Personally, I did not have a fantastic experience with online school in the spring, so I was thrilled to learn that we would actually be going back to school. This enthusiasm, however, did not last long.

After one week of being back, I learned that a neighbor whom I had been in close contact with had tested positive for COVID-19. What did this mean? It meant that I had to stay home and attend virtual school for two weeks.

In a perfect world, virtual learning would have been a breeze. We all had to do it in the spring, so why would anything be different now?

Well, having to sit in my room staring at my computer screen all day while my friends are still physically at school is not a super enjoyable experience. I felt like I was completely missing out, unlike in the spring where everyone was at home. 

Living with two brothers who were also in online classes at the same time did not help either, and, on top of that, my computer was not my friend—it was constantly lagging or glitching right as a teacher was going over important information. 

These are weird times in the world and nothing is ever perfect, but the difference between attending school in person and virtual learning is significant.

After having to stay home for two weeks, I will never take going to school for granted. I understand how lucky we are to be able to do so.

Now, what is my point in telling my experience with virtual learning? Well, one thing I have noticed is that many people are under the impression that the COVID-19  isn’t as serious as it seems. 

The reality is that COVID-19 is a largely unknown and highly contagious disease and it is not something to be taken lightly. 

I understand that it’s hard not being able to see friends at parties, go to football games, or even talk to one another in class without a mask, but these measures are what help to keep us safe. 

Now, I do believe that Pisgah is doing a great job with the new protocols, but I just urge everyone to maybe think before attending that party or sleepover on the weekend and to wear a mask while being super close to a group of people.

I know it is not easy, and I know it is not fun, but if everyone continues to stay safe, then hopefully this global pandemic will be under control soon. 

But until that day comes, I encourage you to wear your mask!