Through their lens

The coronavirus leaves an impact on the SHS community

The+Journal+dives+into+the+different+perspectives+regarding+the+coronavirus+within+the+SHS+community.

The Journal dives into the different perspectives regarding the coronavirus within the SHS community.

As the SHS community works together to stay connected during this time of COVID-19, The Journal has spoken to many people about their experiences and feelings regarding the coronavirus pandemic. Some say that it has made them feel lonely and hopeless, while others say they are learning more about themselves during this time.
While everyone may be dealing with obstacles, they are all handling this pandemic in their own way.
Some individuals that The Journal spoke to say that they keep in touch with their loved ones over the phone. Others say that they’re spending more time with their families at home. Some have been scared to even be around their high-risk family members.
Everyone has a different story, and these are just a few of the voices from the community. While these voices may not represent all of the stories, they can shed light to how others may be living with this new reality. To better understand others’ perspectives, take a look through their lens.

Senior Mary Sang and her father Joseph Hlei are posing for church. This was before COVID-19 began to spread. (Mary Sang)

‘COVID-19 has taught me not to take my time and health for granted’
Senior Mary Sang

Senior Mary Sang received an email that she tested positive for COVID-19. She spent many days in quarantine, and eventually recovered.
More cautious of her surroundings and friends, she continues on with her journey day by day, having learned many valuable lessons along the way.
“COVID-19 has taught me to not take my time and health for granted,” Sang said.
Working in customer service, she knew there was a risk of her contracting the airborne disease. Her father Joseph Hlei and sister Zai Par were sick beforehand, also working in jobs with a high risk of contracting a virus, but were not tested. They kept working until Sang also became infected.
As she was hanging out with her friends, she had an immense headache and a fever that warmed her on the inside but not the outside. Taking ibuprofen and Tylenol had not helped at first, but instead made her headache worse.
She began to lose her sense of taste and alternated between feeling chilly and hot.
When she learned she had COVID-19, she was in denial and disbelief. This was also affected by how the media portrayed the virus.
“I always thought I had a pretty strong immune system,” Sang said. “So, I was like ‘Wow, I think this is fake just because I saw in the news they say that the government is false-diagnosing people just so they have more power.’ Then I realized my symptoms were actually real.”
Sang quarantined for ten days. Throughout those ten days, she drank lots of fluids, rested, and took care of herself like she had a common cold.
While recovering, Sang worried about her father who is in his 60s. She felt afraid since there was the possibility of him not recovering from the virus.
Near the end of the ten days, Sang longed to be with her friends. Senior Van Lian is one of her close friends. They didn’t get to see each other during that time, but once she recovered they hung out with caution.
“I was just trying to keep my distance while also being there for her,” Lian said.
Throughout this experience, Sang has learned to take COVID-19 more seriously. She encouraged people to continue wearing their masks and sanitize their hands often.

Retired social studies teacher Bonnie Tempest and her husband David Tempest are pictured. Since the pandemic hit, Tempest feels that family comes first. (Contributed by Bonnie Tempest)

‘I wanted to keep teaching’
Retired teacher Bonnie Tempest

Throughout her 24 years of teaching at SHS, social studies teacher Bonnie Tempest enjoyed interacting and bonding with her students and colleagues. Due to the virus, all of these perks came to an end.
“I didn’t really want to retire yet, but it was the best decision for my family.” Tempest said.
Ever since the coronavirus has begun to spread, SHS has had to make many changes. Teachers have to teach online and in-person. Unfortunately, Tempest couldn’t fulfill both.
”I wanted to keep teaching,” Bonnie Tempest said. “Frankly, by the way they’re doing things now, pretty much everything is online anyways.”
Due to her husband of 35 years, David Tempest’s health conditions, he was more prone to this airborne disease and if he caught the virus, the effects would be devastating. Had his wife chosen to come to school and then come home to him, it would have put him at even more risk.
“I do get a little frustrated when I go to the store and still, still see people walk around without a mask…,” David Tempest said. “I think they’re so narrow minded that they think ‘Well, I don’t care if I get the Coronavirus.’ Well, what they’re not considering is them getting the virus and passing it on to someone who could ill afford to get infected and I think it’s a very selfish outlook and people who feel that way should re-examine themselves again.”
Therefore, she had proposed to teach strictly virtual since her husband is protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Tempest had been preparing over the summer for her online classes, hopeful that the township administration would accept her proposal. Unfortunately, the proposal was rejected.
She says that she does not feel bitter about the virus nor the rejection.
“I think the people who actually know me know that I don’t usually get that upset,” Tempest said.
Art teacher Breanna Bierod says that she will miss having Tempest around. She once was one of Tempest’s students when she attended SHS. Bierod admired Tempest and hopes that she can walk away knowing she made an impact.
“She’s a rockstar of a teacher and deserves to go out with dignity,” Bierod said.

Assistant principal Amy Boone works in her office on Sept. 3. Boone has been responsible for scheduling classes and balancing class sizes. (Megan Rogers)

‘It was a lot less doing and a lot more planning’
Assistant Principal Amy Boone

Over the summer, assistant principal Amy Boone spent more of her time at SHS than normal. June began with administration meetings, and Boone tried her best to establish a plan, even though she knew there was always a possibility of last minute changes.
“It was a lot less doing and a lot more planning,” Boone said.
Two weeks before school began, the Marion County Health Department announced that schools would switch to a hybrid schedule. This left Boone feeling tired and stressed.
One of her main jobs is handling student scheduling and balancing class size. She says this was more difficult than previous years because she didn’t know how many students would show up in person and how many would be completely virtual. Since gathering the final report on the number of students in these categories would not be completed until close to when school started, Boone had a short amount of time to complete all the scheduling and last minute changes.
“As much as you can prepare, there will always be something last minute.” Boone said.
Even with all the new obstacles she has been facing this year, Boone says that she has seen some positive sides as well. She believes that getting through this pandemic is a team effort. Boone says she appreciates everyones’ cooperation going into this.
“I’ve been really impressed with how well all of the students and staff have kind of adapted with the situation that we’re all in,” Boone said.
Not only has Boone seen positives, but others have seen the positives that she has brought to the administrative team. Office manager Alicia Tasker admires Boone’s effort.
“She has had to become very creative, and being able to juggle student schedules….” Tasker said. “So she’s spent a lot of extra time really making sure that everybody’s schedules have matched up.”