In North Carolina schools are closed, and for many the school year appears to be over. That means thousands of high schoolers in the Cape Fear region are at home. Many use Zoom for lectures, and email to turn in assignments. Their parents juggle work, if they still have a job, with helping their kids. WHQR checks in with one Wilmington family.
It is a beautiful spring day in the Cape Fear region. People are out walking, riding bikes, gardening, tossing a Frisbee. Keeping their distance. But underlying the beauty is some stress. Tonight no one will be going out to dinner at a favorite restaurant, or seeing the latest movie at the theater. In all likelihood, most people will be at home.
For Marisol Sanchez and her three kids in Wilmington, things are going okay… for now.
“As of right now, today, things can change tomorrow. So there is an anxiety there. But as of today, I'm very, very grateful, to say that the company I work for and the businesses that I run, are all sustaining at current income. Again, that can change. I have to say thank you to all the essential workers that are out there, making it happen for the rest of us.”
She is very busy.
“Well, I have three children and they normally live with me. My youngest is currently at my ex-husband's home, so this is the longest I've gone without seeing her. So that's new and I don't like that. I mean, I'm happy that she's safe and sound and where she is, but I miss seeing her daily. That's weird. And then I have my other two who are high school seniors and they're here with me all the time.”
For her daughter Heather, a senior in high school, online classes are underway. But not really …
“It's kind of up in the air at this point. We had our first Zoom class, which is on an online interface for school. And essentially I think one girl asked her really pointed question when our teacher's explaining to us how the rest of the semester would work. So she was basically like, so we're going to be doing all these assignments you give us, even though none of them are going to count towards our actual grade. And my teacher was pretty much just like, yep, you got to do it. If you want to know how to function in college, you're going to have to do these assignments, but our grades are in. They are just trying to give us I think some sense of normality till we go off to college.”
Nothing today is normal. Not with the state under lockdown. Not with schools closed. Not with the many questions of what the coming days and weeks may bring.
Marisol says that young and old alike should be learning some serious lessons.
“I think it's a great opportunity really to look at us in a global manner. And this is happening to us, to the human species. So I'm taking this as like a dark night of the soul for the collective for all of us. And when you have these moments, it's an opportunity to really study why we're here, what happened. And I'm not talking the politics of it. I'm not talking the basic, but more overreaching. What's essential? What travel is essential, what, what did, where do we go with our hygiene. What, what are the things that we can do to prevent this?”
For an 18-year old, these are strange days indeed.
“It feels hard for I think my age specifically because as soon as this is all over, our life changes forever. So I think that the real trauma for us is having our, like essentially our childhood ended in such an abrupt and unexpected manner.”
“Yeah, that's an interesting point because this generation, these kids that are 18 you know, they were, we were pregnant with them or they were born at 9/11. It just seems like there's been this traumatic experience in your childhood. 9/11 then we had the financial in 2008 and now we're here with a pandemic.”
“So you know, stability isn't really something I think we're super used to as a generation.”
Vince Winkel, WHQR News.