Lend a Helping Hand

Written by Maeve McDonald

These past weeks, the coronavirus pandemic has had a severe impact on our daily lives. It impacts students, our ability to study, some of our parents inability to work and our economy as a whole. We are all getting through this time in the best way that we can, but for some, it is much harder to ensure a comfortable living than for others. 

The coronavirus has undoubtedly had an effect on everyone. We are all now doing things we aren’t used to and adapting to this temporary lifestyle, but due to job loss and the overall downfall of the economy, many people are struggling to live life normally. For this specific pandemic, different social and economic classes are affected much differently. Many people in a lower economic class rely on jobs simply to keep food on the table, or don’t have access to the internet or Wi-Fi for their kids to complete their schoolwork. While this might be an adjustment for us all, it can be detrimental to the health and education of numerous children and families. Even though we are all in the dark when it comes to a solution, I personally think there is still so much we could do that we aren’t, which, as a result, is leaving people hungry, and leaving kids without school for long periods of time. 

At East High School, and I’m sure many other schools, they have issued a pass-fail grading system for the last semester of the year. This can potentially be helpful, but what about for the kids who can’t complete any school work, and might not be able to pass the class at all, or only pass with a D? When thinking of solutions, many of the ones that have been thought of or acted on have only really helped those who are already prepared at home to continue through this time period normally. What about those kids who couldn’t get a Chromebook when the school computers ran out? What about those kids who are unsafe and hungry at home, whose parents have no sort of income during this time and are unsure of what the future will bring?

Because no one has ever really been in a situation like this, adults included, nobody really knows what the right answer is when it comes to handling it. Who knows where people with limited resources will be in a couple of months? We as a community need to be thinking about this, offering up solutions and preparing in any way we can and helping to make sure no child is forgotten in a time of need. 

Along with many children, adults are also suffering during this time. Many of those who still have jobs have to risk their health every day to commute back and forth, risk their families’ health and do whatever they possibly can to bring money home. Many adults choose between their own health and safety, or having any sort of income for daily necessities. It is a choice no one should have to make, but it seems like every day more people are forced to do so. Do we open everything up and risk everyone’s safety in order to save the economy? Do we keep everything closed and risk the downfall of the economy and the safety and success of many families? Who should be the person to make the choice in this situation that affects everybody differently, and some worse than others? It is nearly impossible. It doesn’t seem right that one person should have the power to make these decisions when they don’t really know how it affects different parts of the population.

The coronavirus has created an even larger divide between social and economic classes, and has put people in uncomfortable positions and forced them to make choices that might benefit those in higher classes more. To me, it looks like many of these coronavirus discussions are becoming ones about who to help first. Do we give as many resources and outlets to those that especially need them now, or do we just focus on helping the people that are already equipped to go home and quarantine, and resume daily life in a few months? Morals and values come into question, the lives of different people come into play and the decision on who to help, how to help and when to open up is becoming increasingly difficult. 

I think that if you are in a position where you are safe, comfortable and have access to your education platforms, you should do whatever you can to help others. Let your neighbor use your Wi-Fi, buy groceries for someone who might need them and do whatever you can because we are in this together. We need to look out for one another in our community and try to help as many people as we can come out of this uncertain situation for the better.