COVID-19 Causes Further Cancellations

Cassi Reaka, Life Editor

As COVID-19 continues to spread further and further throughout the planet, so do efforts to contain it and stop the spread.

Beginning Tuesday March 17, all public and private schools in Illinois were closed by an executive order from Gov. J.B. Pritzker. The order stated that all schools “for educational purposes” for students from kindergarten to twelfth grade will be closed until March 30, with students returning to school at the earliest on March 31, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Although some states are leaving school closings up to the districts, 35 others have taken a similar approach to Illinois and closed schools statewide, most for at least a week.

On March 17, Kansas became the first state to close schools for the remainder of the academic year, according to the Washington Post.

In Illinois, these days off have been labeled “Act of God” days by the Illinois State Board of Education,” according to the Chicago Tribune. Districts can not request “Act of God” days if they have any emergency days left in their school year and may only be used if there is something posing a “hazardous threat to the health and safety of the students,” such as the virus.

During the days off, teachers are supposed to provide e-Learning work that students can do from home. Junior Samantha Sanders has been doing her best to adjust to this new style of learning.

“In some of my classes, I feel like my teachers are trying really hard to continue to teach us the information we need,” Sanders said. “But on the other hand, some of my teachers are just throwing out work and expecting us to be able to know how to do it.”

After perceiving citizens were not taking the threat seriously enough, Gov. Pritzker closed all dine-in restaurants and bars in Illinois beginning at 9 p.m. Monday March 16, according to NBC Chicago. The closures are through March 30, but most are still providing delivery, drive-thru and curbside pickup options.

Edwardsville has also cancelled prom, which has upset some students.

“I didn’t go to prom last year so I was banking on being able to go this year just for the experience,” senior Alan Ebert said. “I get why they had to cancel but it’s still a bummer because now I will never get to go.”

Since many health experts are suggesting that people practice “self-distancing” from others, many students have found themselves spending a lot of time at home. Junior Lydia Foster has found ways to fill this extra free time.

“I find myself watching a lot of Netflix in my free time and just hanging out with my family,” Foster said. “Since online schooling has started I’ve found myself spending a lot of time on homework. During the day I also have been watching exercise and dance follow along videos to let off energy. I still feel bored, because I get bored of staying in the house and just doing things like homework.”