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Central Texas students reflect on pandemic's impact, one year later

Posted at 8:13 PM, Mar 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-22 21:13:34-04

It was this time last year that the pandemic really started affecting our lives and the lives of students across the U.S.

Monday was the first day back from spring break but last year, this was the day that everything changed.

The COVID-19 pandemic started taking hold around spring break last year and that is when school districts across the country decided to close their doors.

”I remember saying to one of my friends, see you in two weeks from now and then we left it off because we were like, I guess not and then it got more serious. Then my mom and would make jokes about it but it got worse,” said Scarlet Strickland, Lake Belton High School 9th grader.

The sudden change in the world left teachers and student struck with fear, not knowing what was going to happen next.

”There were moments that I broke down during zooms and the kids broke down to and it was just not the ideal situation. I think we can all agree on that.” said Jordan Petter, Digital Information Specialist for Lake Belton High School and former English teacher.

Now, one year later, much has changed but nothing like it was before COVID-19 pulled the rug right out from under them.

”Even though this thing is still going around it doesn’t feel like it is except for the masks and the social distancing part. It just feels like we’re doing the best we can do deal with it,” said Anna James, Lake Belton High School 9th grader.

Even though they are back in school, they know that the pandemic is not yet over. Some want their fellow students to know it too.

”I want them to take it seriously and not spread anything and just have to deal with it appropriately. Take it more seriously so we can at least help other people if not yourself.” said Strickland.

Like many young people throughout history, they know their experience has been unique. After living through this pandemic for a year now, many have a similar question for their parents.

”They never experienced a pandemic like this in their childhood so my message would be asking them, how would they cope with it?” said James.

All the students that spoke with 25 News see a light at the end of the tunnel and hope to one day soon be able to take off their mask and get back to normal. But not before it is safe to do so.