Challenges and joys of the pandemic

Mariah Arviso, Reporter

When COVID-19 first appeared, it caused an uproar of panic in communities worldwide. Grocery stories were understocked and restaurants closed the dining area. Then the shelter-in-place order was announced on March 19, and everyone was asked to stay home with the exception of essential needs.  

With everyone at home, people had to become creative to keep themselves entertained. Whether it be a new way of teaching or a made-up family game, everyone adapted to the pandemic in their own ways. There were also many challenges that were visible with the rise of unemployment, school and business closures and people having to work from home.  

“The biggest challenge is what a lot of people are experiencing [is] unemployment. I’ve been able to deal with it because I finally started to receive unemployment benefits from the state. The extra aid that Newsom is giving out is more than helpful as well,” Hannah Yeasley, Bakersfield College student, said. “Another challenge would be not being able to see my family.”  

The rise of unemployment rates had caused a major drop in the economy, but it also affected the communities of people who are losing their incomes. People are struggling to provide food and shelter for their families. Although there were many measures put in place to help those in need, this is still an ongoing issue and one of the many challenges COVID-19 created.  

One main struggle that has occurred because of the pandemic is school closures. With kids at home, it can be difficult for parents to work from home while also having to care for their children. Schooling became difficult for students practicing distant learning and not having the supplies or internet needed. 

BC students have expressed challenges of staying focused without a face to face session, connecting to internet for classes, and missing social interactions.  

“The shelter in place order was needed to be put in action in order to maintain the virus, but it is difficult at times to focus on my classes. I’m a hands-on learner, and I rely on personal visuals for me to understand the lesson,” BC student Gustavo Lopez said.  

Although the pandemic caused many negative economic and social impacts, there were also some positives that people discovered about themselves and the communities. Due to the shelter-in-place order, people are taking the time to self-reflect and find new hobbies and new ways to connect with people.  

“I’ve noticed that I’m much more introverted than I thought. I don’t miss going out and being around a bunch of people […] I actually get a lot more done. From a distance, I’m seeing some people really finding themselves. My sister is almost 30 years old and this quarantine made her want to go into politics,” Yeasley said.  

This pandemic caused many struggles and challenges to the economy, but communities adapted in more ways than one.