During times of crisis or struggle, it isn’t uncommon to see people using social media in order to deal with the strong emotions they are feeling. With the drastic change in everyday life caused by Covid-19, more and more people have been swarming different social media sites to address their frustrations.
Among those using social media to reach out to loved ones and bring attention to their concerns during this trying time are those using social media to make jokes and entertaining content about the pandemic surrounding them. This behavior raises the question of whether or not what these people are doing is harmful or if it is a way of coping with the changes in life.
In many of these social media posts that are meant to be jokes or to entertain, a common theme is to state that they are ready to contract the virus or to make fun of those who are taking the virus seriously. These behaviors could be viewed as insulting to those afflicted with the virus or those who are frontline workers.
However, the majority of those posting this type of content are from generations rooted in dark or offensive humor as a way to cope with situations they cannot control or that frighten them. It is important to remember that the actions on social media do not always reflect a person’s true character. Most often, those on social media create a persona and act differently than what is normal for them in order to look a certain way.
The times we are in are difficult for everyone to adjust to and cope with. While some may view the content being shared as immature and ignorant, it can also be viewed as a coping mechanism. The posts and content created is often for entertainment and allows for individuals to feel connected to one another through a shared sense of humor or belief.
The content being consumed by individuals worldwide is sharing a unique story that everyone can relate to because everyone is experiencing it. While the humor may not fit everyone’s taste, it allows a distraction for a moment from the struggles each individual is facing.
Instead of relying on social media to vent your frustrations during these times, there are many alternatives to try. Some of these alternatives include journaling in a private diary, meditating, screaming into your pillow, or binge-watching a favorite show or movie to distract yourself.
Madisson Shellenberger, a junior, no longer has to wake up early in the morning and to get ready to attend school. She now keeps herself busy by working an essential job at a local pizza shop, Primo Pizza.
“Working during quarantine has been a lot different. We have to maintain a six foot distance from all customers and wear masks,” Shellenberger said. “Customers aren’t allowed in the store so we have to take all the food outside and set it on a table.”
In general, working can be stressful and challenging for everyone. However, COVID-19 has made it even harder for bosses and all workers to smoothly and effectively accomplish their jobs in a timely manner.
Many new problems have arisen along with the disease itself and many businesses and schools closing. In April alone, the unemployment rate was at an all-time high of 14.7 percent in the United States according to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics. In addition, children no longer have easy everyday access to food because of schools closing, causing one in four children to face hunger.
Essential workers, such as nurses and food providers, are being appreciated now more than ever during these challenging times. However, it can be easy to overlook student teenagers who work “simple jobs” at local restaurants, fast food stores, or as a cashier at a local grocery store.
“I have always admired teenagers who work at fast food places or are a cashier at a grocery,” local customer Linda Rider said. “This pandemic has made me appreciate teenagers who work now more than ever because I would not want to do their jobs at a time like this.”
Most teenagers who have jobs did not decide to be essential workers like those who work in the medical field, they simply became one once the coronavirus started to spread. Teenage student workers have to juggle distance learning and their job, along with the fact that they are putting their safety at risk for others.
“I never thought of myself as being an essential worker,” senior Shane McDanel said. “A lot of teenagers and people who go to our school work at Giant, but as time goes on I see how important we can be.
The differences of working during the coronavirus do not stop at just at the regulations set by the Control and Disease Prevention Center to keep both workers and customers safe. Now more than ever, members in the community are taking action to support those who may not be able to support themselves because of financial issues.
“We have been a lot busier at Primo Pizza lately because of everything that Ryan [boss] has been doing,” Shellenberger said. “We have had fundraiser nights for local businesses and have been giving out free lunches to kids who are in need.”
Some student essential workers see this time as a way to grow and develop their character because of all the changes they have to adapt to. This experience of working during a pandemic will not only impact the student essential workers, but also everyone who has been positively impacted by their time and strength.
“Working during the coronavirus has been a unique experience for me because it has taught me that even though there be issues throughout our communities, as long as we come together we can overcome a lot as long as we stick together,” Shellenbeger said.
By Kaitlyn Resline, Student Life Editor, and Daphne Riddle, Junior Editor-In-Chief
Technology over the past hundred years moved from black and white film and corded telephones to self driving cars and CGI technology. The improvements of these automations make everyday life easier for humanity, and create higher quality communication, science work, and entertainment means.
Although technology helped to enhance the lifestyle of millions of people, it also has features that can harm the minds and bodies of people who take it for granted. Everyone, especially younger people, easily become obsessed with their phones, computers, televisions, or any other forms of technology that provide entertainment. These devices act as a distraction to real life, and get in the way of people completing what they need to do every day, or should do every day.
“Negative effects of technology: What to know” by Jon Johnson outlines some of the negative effects of using technology too frequently. These issues include poor sleep quality, lack of physical activity, social issues like anxiety, and aggressive behavior.
Being on a phone and watching a streaming service, playing a game, or scrolling through social media is a fun way to pass time, but it oftentimes gets in the way of doing things that are more important. When people spend all day with technology surrounding them, acts like spending time outside and reading books get lost, and seem like they have lesser importance.
Understanding the negative effects of using technology too often, Leonid staff writers Kaitlyn Resline and Daphne Riddle decided to go 24 hours without technology. This idea came from an assignment given in Honors English 3 from Mrs. Jane Dennish where the students did the same 24 hour challenge without technology. The assignment was inspired by reading “Walden” by Henry David Thoreau, where he reflected on simple living and reconnecting with nature. After completing the assignment, Kaitlyn and Daphne reflect on what the experience was like for them.
Towards the end of March, I had only been in quarantine for a few weeks, but I found myself spending more and more time on my phone.
As I spent more time on my phone, I found that I was becoming more irritable, more detached from my family, and less productive. I decided it was time for a change. I decided to go 24 hours without technology.
Since I wasn’t using my phone or watching TV, I got a much needed relief from the constant stream of COVID-19 news. I was able to not worry so much about what was going on in the world and have a moment of peace.
Throughout the day, I spent a lot of time reading. Since I had spent so much time on my phone, I had forgotten one of my old passions. Long before I grew attached to doing nothing, I spent time discovering far away lands and reading stories of magic and adventure.
I also spent more time with my sisters, Kiersten, 13, and Carlee, 10, playing games together. We learned how to play Yahtzee, although it was a bit difficult trying to understand the instructions without being able to look up a video on how to play.
My sisters expressed to me that they felt I was only spending time with them because I didn’t have my phone. It made me realize that I had cast them aside to just scroll through the internet mindlessly. I would rather text friends virtually than have conversations with my sisters. I made them feel like I had better things to do on my phone than be with them.
Although I encountered minor inconveniences, it felt much better going throughout my day without technology. I was more productive without my phone to distract me and had more time to do activities for myself. I definitely found some peace of mind during the 24 technology free hours.
Spending 24 hours separated from technology was harder than anticipated. I never noticed how much we all rely on technology in our daily lives. Throughout the day, I would find myself wishing I could mindlessly scroll through social media to take up time, instead of looking for better, more productive activities to do.
When I woke up, my first instinct was to reach over and grab my phone. Usually, I spend anywhere from 5-20 minutes on my phone when I first wake up, whether it is to respond to messages or scroll through social media. Not being able to do that first thing in the morning, however, actually made my mind start off more at ease and less stressed out.
This ease continued throughout the rest of the day since I was not exposed to any pressure or conflicts that we all see every day on the internet. It was nice to not see the drama of people on the internet, or unrealistic lifestyles on social media. Instead of spending hours online, I got to do things that I never make time to do on a normal day.
I spent the day continuing the Harry Potter books, which I have failed to finish after a few years of trying, getting in a few miles of running, and playing board games like Clue with my family. These are hobbies that I always put to the side when I have my phone or the television sitting right in front of me. Spending time with my family, in particular, was nice. We are all usually preoccupied in our own lives that doing things together gets to be more rare than when technology was more scarce.
Overall, I noticed that a day without technology was refreshing, and definitely something that more people should try. It made the easy distractions disappear, and let me take time out of my day to relax and not worry about the pressure that can be caused from being on technology too much.
It was nice to take a breath and step back from the new ways of life that are controlled by our devices. The lack of distractions made it clearer what the important things in life are, and made me want to spend more time doing these things instead of mindless pastimes that technology provides.
We encourage everyone to try 24 hours without technology and to share their experiences with us!
As drastic changes in daily life have occurred due to the outbreak of the virus, Covid-19, many remain in the dark about what the virus truly is. In order to understand what this particular virus is and how it affects the human body, it is crucial to understand what a virus is in general terms
“A virus is on the borderline of alive and not alive and that’s why they can be hard to kill,” Mrs. Stone, a high school chemistry teacher, said. “Viruses are a piece of a nucleic acid, either DNA or RNA (Corona has RNA) and a protein shell.”
Stone continued this thought by stating, “When the virus has made enough copies it bursts your cell and releases more viruses into your system that can go and infect even more of your cells. So a zombie apocalypse for your cells! All that breaking into and out of your cells is why you feel achy, feverish, and in general bad.”
Contracting a virus is fairly common, in fact, it is something that happens often for most of us. The coronavirus is not specific to the current virus circulating the world and causing the pandemic. Ordinary illnesses like the common cold and the flu are also categorized as a coronavirus simply because of the hooks that the cell has.
Although other strains of the coronavirus are quite common, this strain, Covid-19, is new and therefore causing more issues. “One reason why Covid-19 is causing more of a problem than the common cold is that it is also a SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) virus. It being a SARS virus means that the virus attacks the lungs and, because this is a new strain, no one has immunity to it,” Stone said.
Even with Covid-19’s relation to the flu, there are quite a few differences between the two. For instance, the flu is a virus that has been circulating for some time now, meaning that people have begun to resist it. On top of the resistance is the vaccinations that were created and that are readily available in order to treat and prevent the flu.
Covid-19 is also far more deadly than the flu. There have been many deaths from the flu, but nothing like the rates seen from Covid-19. “Even though flu can kill people, it isn’t as lethal as coronavirus and we don’t close down countries because of the flu,” said Stone. “If that wasn’t enough, coronavirus also seems to like to create lung damage and blood clotting that we don’t see with the flu.”
The lung damage seen as a result of Covid-19 is one of many reasons why some individuals are more at risk. “If you already have lung, immune, or circulation problems the virus can affect you more. Also, people with conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma and other diseases don’t have as much strength to fight off this virus,” Stone said. “Additionally, people who live in urban areas and elderly people in nursing homes are especially vulnerable because so many people are closer together. The danger is anyone can get it and pass it on even if they don’t have symptoms. You may have it and not even know it, but you could give it to someone who is vulnerable and that is why everything is shut down right now”.
As of May 20th, York County has had 817 confirmed cases of Covid-19. The state of Pennsylvania as a whole has had 63,666 total confirmed cases with the entire nation having had 1.6 million confirmed cases.
Black and gold decorations have filled Horn Field at the Red Lion Area Senior High School every year for the highly awaited graduation ceremony that celebrates the seniors. Unfortunately this year, the class of 2020 is not able to have this special moment due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Students that attend the Red Lion Area School District were informed on March 13 that the next two weeks they would not attend school because of the rapid spread of the coronavirus. Governor Tom Wolfe later announced that all Pennsylvania schools will be closed for the rest of the 2019-2020 school year.
Governor Wolf has stated that the coronavirus outbreak has “made it impossible” to hold a traditional graduation ceremony. Secretary of Health, Rachel Levine, says that students may not even be able to attend school in person next year in the fall, much less have a graduation ceremony for the class of 2020.
To reopen the state, Wolf has a color system on when certain regions are allowed to start resuming to normal life. York County had been in the “red” phase and on the stay-at-home order until June 4.
While some students were excited about their “coronacation,” others realized all the events and opportunities they would be missing out on. Seniors were hit the hardest because they were not able to have their last spring sports season, a senior class trip, prom, or the rest of their high school experience.
With the coronavirus stealing many special memories from all students, but especially seniors, a traditional graduation ceremony should not be taken away as well.
Currently, a graduation committee is planning to have a virtual graduation for the class of 2020 on Friday, June 5, at 6:45 PM. “Our hope is that the students can dress in their caps and gowns, watch the ceremony from the safety of their homes, to hear the different speeches and the reading of the names of all of our graduates, and celebrate with loved ones,” said head principal Mark Shue in an email that was sent to students and parents.
Although it is not a traditional graduation ceremony, it is an attempt to honor the students and their last high school year coming to an end. However, this was still upsetting for many people because these students put years of work into their educational careers and will now not be able to walk a stage and be handed their diploma in front of a cheering crowd.
Although it is understandable that it will not be safe to hold a graduation ceremony at this time, the school’s administration should be doing more or looking at other options to make this special tradition be the best that it can be. Students should be able to receive their diploma wearing their caps and gowns in front of those who love, care, and support them throughout their educational journey.
For some students, they do not have any significant memories of winning their first game or meet on a high school sporting team. Those same teenagers may not have participated in any extracurricular activities or had the best high school experience, so their main positive memory of their success would be a graduation ceremony.
Instead of canceling the ceremony early, they should have postponed it until August instead. Some parents and community members felt that they made this call too early on and could have waited to see all of the possible choices. Postponing this event would have shown that the administration fully cares about the voices of the students, parents, and the community.
Another option for this dilemma is that students could be handed their diplomas while wearing their caps and gowns by the principal in front of their families one by one. This process would be very time consuming but would show that the administration values traditional, meaningful graduations and the opinions of everyone.
This one-on-one graduation substitution could span over a series of days late in the summer to ensure that the health of everyone is being prioritized. This option would allow students to be in proper graduation attire and let family members capture a special moment in their seniors’ life. Even though it would not be a traditional graduation ceremony, this would be the closest choice that still holds some of the aspects and feelings of one.
By attempting to have a virtual graduation, it almost seems as if everyone is trying to conclude these challenging circumstances. Everyone wants to start over and have life return to “normal,” so certain events are not being carried out to their full capacity at a later date. Sports banquets, birthday parties, and more have all been cut short because people want to forget about this time in history.
Substitutions to everyday activities and special events during the Covid-19 outbreak are starting to seem like something cool and memories that can still be appreciated, simply because it is something different to what we are used to experiencing. Although virtual conversations and other substitutions to life are better than nothing, it should not be seen as equivalent to traditional events that hold sentimental value to everyone across the nation.
Because so many exciting events and special occasions have been already taken away from students, the graduation committee should be trying even harder to fulfill the needs and wants of everyone when regarding a graduation ceremony. These seniors deserve closure from high school experience, especially since they were cheated of their last school year.
While this pandemic has been extremely challenging for all, it is not an excuse to fail to give the class of 2020 a meaningful graduation that they fully deserve. For some students, this was a moment that they were dreaming of their whole lives because it signals their success and a new chapter of their life alongside those they grew up with.
Even though it is not safe at this time to hold a traditional graduation ceremony, more options should be considered so the seniors have a true memory of them officially graduating after years of hard work and dedication. However, it is important for all of us to keep in mind that safety comes first and that these questionable times have impacted everyone in various shapes and forms.
The views and opinions expressed at TheLeonid.com are those of the authors and do no necessarily reflect the official policy of The Leonid or of Red Lion Area School District. Any content provided by our bloggers is of their own opinion and is not meant to malign or cause harm to any individual or entity.
By Emily Ankers, Editor-in-Chief, and Daphne Riddle, Junior Editor-in-Chief
Due to the pandemic of COVID-19, people all across the country are being quarantined to their homes in hopes of stopping the spread of the growing pandemic. Schools are closed until further notice, and all non-essential businesses are temporarily shut down.
This world-wide phenomenon is something new to everyone, and many find it difficult to navigate their way through these troubling times. People are using new ways to complete tasks that have been uncomplicated in the past, such as learning and testing. State-wide and national tests, however, have been altered from the standard means of testing.
The government cancelled test dates for SATs and ACTs in March and May to avoid gathering large groups of students together. The early June date was cancelled as of April 15, so the next available test dates will be at later, currently unknown times. Additional dates in June and July, however, are planning on being added to ensure students have as many opportunities as possible to take the exams.
Many students, especially the ones in the junior year, who are beginning to look for colleges to apply to next fall, are worried about the lack of test dates of these exams that most colleges require for acceptance.
“Canceling SAT’s and ACT’s is certainly an inconvenience for students as they prepare for college,” said Mr. Shue, the principal at Red Lion Senior High. “Hopefully these tests will be available to students, in some form, as soon as possible.
Some colleges are looking into lowering requirements for the students affected by this pandemic, or even getting rid of some of the requirements. Schools could be looking into going test-optional for acceptance. Everything considered, the colleges and universities are trying to find the best means of adjusting to the current situation.
The cancelation of the SAT testing dates is leading to a great likelihood that students belonging to the class of 2021 will not be required to provide scores to gain entrance into college. Currently, a handful of colleges have already waived the need for SAT scores and many more are considering it. The College Board is doing all they can to make the transition into college for the young adults as easy as possible given these unforeseen circumstances.
Other standardized tests were also changed including AP tests, Keystone exams and PSSAs. The state tests, Keystones and PSSAs, were cancelled all together for the spring of 2020.
AP tests, however, were rescheduled and turned into an online test. All AP tests were pushed back about a week later, in May, and shortened to 45 minute open-note exams.
“They are shortening the tests,” said Mrs. Scott, a guidance counselor at Red Lion Area Senior High, “based on the material that the majority of United States students would have gotten before we shut down.”
Students and teachers must prepare for these changing tests, and try their best to make the most out of the new forms of taking these important tests.
Students and teachers discuss the advantages and disadvantages of transitioning to online school
By Margaux Rentzel, Social Media Editor and Marketing Director, and Kaitlyn Resline, Student Life Editor
“To everything, there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven.” The song “Turn, Turn, Turn,” written by Pete Seeger, inspired by the book of Ecclesiastes, and released by the Byrds in 1965, speaks to many generations. The Byrds – Turn! Turn! Turn!
In this trying time, there are advantages and disadvantages to everything, but everything has a purpose. Since the high school was shut down for the rest of the year, students have had to complete their work online. There are positives and negatives, advantages and disadvantages to online learning, but nonetheless, it has to be done.
“A time to laugh, a time to weep.” Some students were over the moon when they heard about school closing for the rest of the year, while some, were not.
“The coronavirus has taken away probably the best part of senior year,” senior executive council president, Emma Hively said.
Students face difficulties with completing their assignments because it is easier to get distracted and it can be hard to manage their time.
“I think online school does allow a lot of people to procrastinate and not do their work to the fullest,” freshman Dani Graham said. “Therefore they aren’t getting the full benefit.”
Another disadvantage is that class discussions are hard to have digitally, so students aren’t getting the full potential they can of learning. Cheating is also easier with online school because it is easier in the student’s head.
“It is harder to have online discussions because it is harder to focus,” junior Austin Wilbur said. “Thus making kids just wanting to get answers from friends, so they can just move on.”
Teachers also face difficulties, especially if they teach hands-on classes like art, music performance, and technology education. When the face-to-face aspect of learning is taken away, it can be hard for students to learn. For the senior high orchestra, that means adapting from being a performance-based group.
“The goal is to perform for people but that might not be happening,” said junior and senior high orchestra director Miss Elly Cope. “So, the goal is to get [the orchestra] to realize the benefit of performing and to grow from performing for people.”
A disadvantage for seniors is that the rest of their senior year is not happening for them. In-person graduation was officially canceled for the senior class, and many of the seniors were sad about this.
“Senior year is often idealized and is supposed to be the best year,” Hively said. “But many of the most exciting parts are now in question.”
“A time to gain, a time to lose.” There are many disadvantages to online school, but to stay positive people should look at the advantages.
Although it is difficult to teach the orchestra online, not being able to perform allows Miss Cope to focus on some other aspects of music.
“Every day we’re so focused on performing and getting ready for a concert and we might not be doing that now,” said Miss Cope. “So instead, we can talk about the theoretical points of music and the technical parts.”
This allows for students to study things like a key signature, and to really focus on their playing technique. Not being able to perform give the students time to learn about the emotional parts of the music and all the components they do mentally and physically that go into playing.
Another advantage that students have is that they can create their own schedules for getting their online work done. This prepares students for college because they have to find time to do their assignments and can complete them at their own pace.
“I believe online school is good for the students because they are able to do the work when they want,” Junior Austin Wilbur said. “And they have an increased amount of freedom.”
Teachers have been trying to figure out a way to make the transition easiest for themselves and the students. Teachers have to make their lesson plans online and try to help students with everything they need.
“The transition hasn’t been the easiest for me,” Hively said. “But thankfully my teachers are being reasonable in the amount of work they give.”
“A time for peace, I swear it’s not too late.” The COVID-19 pandemic has brought out the worst in people, and the best. It is hard for teachers and students to transition to online school. But, looking at the positives in the situations will bring peace to a silent war that we are all fighting.
“It is very disheartening and seems very unfair,” Hively said. “But we are lucky to have an administration that is aware of our situation and is working to give us as much normalcy as possible.”
High school science interns host elementary students for a day of science-related activities.
In the Old Gym, sounds of excitement fill the air. A wide array of kids fills the room, from high school volunteers and high school media students to teachers and second grade students. It is an event unlike anything else.
On March 11, 2020, second graders from Locust Grove Elementary School came to the Red Lion Area Senior High School to participate in the STEAM Ahead event. The purpose is to learn about the letters of STEAM as well as the four Cs. Stations around the room range from building a bride, coding a robot, completing an electric circuit, launching a ball, and many others.
STEAM stands for science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics. The four Cs are communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity.
“I think what the skills really are are the four Cs and I think the means to teaching those skills are the STEAM letters,” said science teacher and event facilitator, Mrs. Laura Delawder. “They can learn about science while communicating or collaborating… it’s just that connection, that integration between topics that really enables them to learn those four Cs.”
This year there were five STEAM events, to include all five elementary schools. It was put together by Mrs. Delawder and five interns: senior Lily Hare, and juniors Eliza Fink, Isaiah Morales, Laela Thibault, and Mackenzie Wagaman. Several high school student volunteers also ran stations to make the day possible.
“With STEAM obviously we have our individual categories, but what it really entails is to kind of get these kids thinking, get them prepared for the future,” said intern Isaiah Morales. “We want them to be able to encounter different challenges, encounter different problems, but also find solutions to those problems.”
The event also helped high-schoolers to talk to second graders. Morales said he connected with the second graders because he was amazed by how much they already knew.
“My favorite part was the technology. We coded robots and stuff,” said a Locust Grove second grader, Claire. “I learned the life cycle of a sea turtle and how to talk with others to make sure everything works out.”
“My favorite station was the technology on because we got to see how technology works,” said another second grader, Laken. “I’ve learned that if you work together, it’s better.”
Media students also got involved during the day. It was an opportunity to practice interview and camera skills.
“It was really cool to see all of the kids having fun while learning! Mrs. Deladwer did such a great job planning the whole event,” said media student Margaux Rentzel. “I loved covering the event because it gave me great experience with interviewing people on the spot.”
The day met Mrs. Delawder’s expectations and was a success. In the future, she hopes the event will expand to include K-12 and become integrated into the daily school day.
“It’s all about the kids,” said Mrs. Delawder. “Between high-schoolers, between second graders, between media students, between our t-shirt designer, it’s taken our village to make this happen and seeing it come to fruition has just been awesome.”