WHS students remain occupied during outbreak


Credit: Allie Nunn

With school turning to remote learning amid the COVID-19 crisis, students are trying to find new ways to distract themselves. Now that most people’s time is spent at home, activities such as reading, painting, puzzles, and video games are becoming a daily part of student’s lives. “I have been doing a lot of schoolwork mainly because it makes me feel productive and since the work isn’t necessarily based on the curriculum, my teachers have given me a lot of assignments that are more meaningful and interesting,” senior Sam Cahaly said.

Allie Nunn and Dante Coppola

As the United States continues to be impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak, students at WHS are taking different precautions to stay safe and occupied during these times. The spread of the virus has pushed many states to enter a lockdown phase, urging citizens to stay in their homes and severely limit all public outings. On Mar. 10, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker issued a state of emergency. Despite this, Massachusetts is not currently on a restrictive lockdown, meaning people are still relatively free to do what they wish.

“I have been doing a lot of stuff to keep busy such as clean, play lacrosse, workout and play Xbox with my friends,” junior Dylan Derubeis said.

People have to get creative when entertaining themselves as options remain limited. Right now, the best thing to do is keep a stable routine and prepare if school and/or sports start back up again. Learning new skills, preparing for sports and playing with a pet are a few of the ways students like sophomore Spencer Dines are occupying their time.

“I’m staying busy with lacrosse and football Plt4m workouts to prepare for the upcoming lacrosse season if it does end up happening,” Dines said. “I’m also learning to play guitar, spending time with my new puppy, playing video games with friends and doing a little bit of school work as well.”

Over the past couple of weeks, WHS teachers and staff have created an enrichment phase of learning where students were assigned optional work to complete. Enrichment work varies depending on the class but may include open-ended responses, units on which students will not be assessed, as well as Zoom meetings with classmates and teachers.

“I have been doing a lot of schoolwork mainly because it makes me feel productive and since the work isn’t necessarily based on the curriculum, my teachers have given me a lot of assignments that are more meaningful and interesting,” senior Sam Cahaly said.

Many Wayland residents have taken advantage of the free time and the outdoors by spending time walking outside and on the rail trail. Junior Polina Rod often runs on the rail trail to keep active and stay occupied.

“To keep myself busy during quarantine, I have been watching new shows and going on runs outside and on the rail trail 3-4 times a week,” Rod said.

While some students have spent their time doing other activites, some have decided that the time is best spent doing home improvement work. These tasks do not require one to be in public, while also being labor-intensive enough to preoccupy a lot of time.

“I have spent a good deal of time playing Xbox, fishing and spending time with my family,” sophomore Ben Bolivar said. “I also have worked on projects around the house. [I’ve been] building benches and tables around our bonfire, putting lights up around our patio, cementing poles in the ground for the lights to hang on, resetting our patio and cleaning and reorganizing our house.”

What is important is that people follow precautions such as the 6 feet social distancing rule and wear a mask outside in hopes that the virus does not drastically continue to spread.

“I have been keeping safe by staying at home as much as I can, although I have been out a few times,” Rod said. “I have been wearing a mask everywhere I go where there are a lot of people so that I can stay safe and I always carry sanitizer.”

It appears that one of the biggest motivations for people to stay safe is the health and wellbeing of their entire family. This is especially important when considering how much of an impact the illness has on older family members, with their children or grandchildren potentially acting as hidden carriers.

“I’ve been trying to limit my visits to public places,” sophomore Andrew Shiffler said. “When I do go out, I social distance and watch out for anyone who could be sick. I want to make sure nobody in my family gets Coronavirus, and that starts with me being safe and smart.”

In such a strange time, some people are understandably having a difficult time adjusting. It is very easy to just sleep late, play video games and do nothing.

“The hardest part of this break from school is staying motivated and active as it is very easy to slack off,” Bolivar said.