During the week of January 3rd, 203 COVID-19 cases were reported at M-A, a significant spike from the 10 cases reported in the week before winter break. For many students, the change has been noticeable and drastic.

In Maria Caryotakis’ chemistry class with a 30 student rooster, almost half of the students were missing, whether they had COVID-19, were on vacation, or wanted to protect themselves from the infectious Omicron variant

For some M-A students, the biggest source of anxiety about COVID-19 has been a fear of missing school. Sophomore Aiden Mulcahy has only been able to come to one day of school since the start of second semester.  He said that being at home “leads to more procrastination and stress” because he struggles to understand the material at home, even if he can “print the assignments and submit them just fine.” The difficulty of finding an at-home COVID-19 test prolonged his quarantine. Mulcahy said, “I couldn’t come back sooner because finding an at-home test is very hard right now.” 

Sophomore Riona Faruqi also shared the difficulty of getting in touch with teachers, saying, “It’s frustrating because not many teachers have actually taken the time to respond or follow up. I’ve had to continuously email certain teachers to get a response, and even still, I feel behind because I am not getting many responses.” 

Sophomore Adam Chane shared the stress that many students are feeling. He said, “I don’t want to miss school because of COVID-19, because I know it is really difficult to fall behind in numerous classes.”

However, staying in touch has not been a problem for everyone. Mulcahy said that to his surprise, every teacher he reached out to responded “within 15 minutes.”

Teachers such as Spanish teacher Martina Maggi have adapted to the high percentages of students staying online by posting both classwork and homework on Canvas, which has been very helpful for students such as Faruqi.

For many, coming back to school after being in quarantine has not been the drastic change they expected. “Nothing has changed, honestly,” said junior Alec Todd.

Sonia Freedman is a junior in her second year of M-A Journalism. She began "The Music Moment" column and is looking forward to continuing to write about the culture, community, and unique events at M-A. In her free time, you can find her editing Spotify playlists, extending her Duolingo streak, or formulating the best salad. You can also find her work on the blog for jwa.org!

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