Coronavirus: Our first thoughts

This is an ongoing series to chronicle the events in The Charger Online as they happen


Remmington Moeller

The student parking lies empty on a Monday in March. Usually this lot is full of student cars, even in the summer, the lot is half full with students at practice.

Remmington Moeller, Junior, Co-Editor-in-Chief The Charger Online

As someone who has always been interested in both global news and conspiracy theories, I wasn’t one to brush off the Coronavirus lightly. Of course, back in February when everyone was still cracking jokes about it, I laughed. We could laugh because we were so out of touch with it–it was half way around the globe infecting what felt like a whole other world. Or so it seemed.

I still remember the moment it became real life: March 5 around 10 a.m. That was when NACS Superintendent Dr. Himsel paid a visit to the newspaper staff. He was wearing a long coat, holding a leather brief case with a concern looked in his eyes. His voice was somber as he spoke of the virus and it no longer warranted laughs: “100% of the population will be exposed to the virus.” The Charger Online didn’t include that quote from Dr. Himsel in our articles. We didn’t want to alarm anyone because even then, over two weeks ago, it still seemed a world away. But the virus has been working overtime and now, quarantined in our homes, we find it knocking on our doors.

Donovan Gentis, Teacher, Coach, Club Sponsor

I must admit, I didn’t think too much about the Coronavirus when I first heard about it striking Asia. I mildly kept up with the situation, but the headlines didn’t stand out any more than the ones at home. Bernie Sanders was rising in the polls for the upcoming election, Ricky Gervais was taking a stab at Hollywood during the Golden Globe Awards, and the anticipated Star Trek Picard TV series was striking fans between hope and dread.

In hindsight, it may seem naïve that many of us didn’t take the Coronavirus seriously, but we had heard the media and politicians cry wolf before. While the H1N1 virus, global warming, and the BP oil crisis shouldn’t be ignored — to most of the public the impact was neither immediate nor life altering. H1N1 didn’t shut down university classes, global warming didn’t close national borders, and the BP crisis didn’t isolate people into their homes.

Isabella Collins, Junior, Staff Reporter

Coronavirus was something like none other since the Spanish Flu 100 years ago, and I still remember how it was the day it first sunk in that my world was changing. At first, I did not view the virus as something important and would ignore it or laugh at it when I saw it in the news. I also thought that it would not have made such a huge impact around the world as it is spreading rapidly.
The thing is, I’m not panicking about getting the virus, I view it as having the flu. I’m more worried about the economy and people losing their jobs because of COVID-19. What is the near-future going to look like for everyone? No one knows. Despite people hoarding toilet paper, I believe that we are taking the right steps in handling COVID-19.

Ashlyn Rinehart, Sophomore, Staff Reporter

Like most people, I didn’t think it was a big deal when I first heard about it in January. I thought that it was just another virus, it will stay contained, and I won’t get it. Then the Coronavirus started spreading. I still wasn’t too afraid. When it came to February, I actually started freaking out about the virus. It had spread way farther than I had originally thought. My mind started racing with the worst possible scenarios, and I began to obsess over the topic. So I did my research. I looked up symptoms, death rate, how contagious it was, and how fast it was spreading. At that point in time, there wasn’t much information, but the facts that I did learn comforted me.

I was, and still am, a healthy teenager with a great immune system. I knew that even if I did get it, there was a very high chance I wouldn’t die. So I went on with my life, no worries even related to the virus. The next month went smoothly, people were chatting about it, but nothing bad would happen, right? Mid-March came, and along with spring came the reality of the situation. This virus will change how I am living, and the whole world. But, unlike most people I’ve heard and spoken to, it did feel real.

It didn’t feel like a dream. This was actually happening. Maybe it is just because I am always dreaming up scenarios like this, but I knew life would be changed for a long time, maybe even forever.

Nol Beckley, The Charger Online Adviser, Teacher.

I first heard about the virus in late December (early January?) and what made my ears perk up was the mention of McDonald’s closing everything in the Wuhan Province in China. I’ve worked fast food jobs before and I know they maximize every penny and realized McDonald’s decided it was more profitable to close down restaurants in the most populous country on earth than remain open.

Then I forgot about everything because impeachment consumed the news and all stories from halfway around the world lost meaning to me. It wasn’t a priority. The second semester had just started and I had 80+ new students in my English classes.  Day to day life took over. I was working on lines for a Shakespeare play that I was starring in.

Brayden Busz, Sophomore, Staff Reporter

When I first heard about the Corina Virus it was during winter break. I didn’t think it was serious at all. I thought this virus would blow over our heads and society would forget about it. Till the month of January came around.  I got worried a little. On ABC News they unfolded that China had an outbreak with the virus. Then shortly after Italy had a major outbreak. When I heard about this I was nervous but not scared yet because it wasn’t in America. When we got our first case in America I got scared. China and Italy had huge numbers and I thought America was next.  Our numbers here in America aren’t as bad as China and Italy numbers. I still think there is a hope and there will be a vaccine here shortly.

Blake Mast, Junior, Sports Editor

When the Coronavirus initially struck China, I didn’t really put too much thought into it. After all, there are a lot of things that happen overseas that don’t affect me in any tangible way. But when I heard it was shutting down Italy, and causing problems all over the continent, I started to put a bit of thought into the situation. Will the virus come to the US? If so, how long until it becomes an issue like it is in China or Italy? But I still wasn’t worried. Coronavirus was just kind of a joke among the students in the high school.

The school shutdown was very abrupt to me. There was talk of it on the day before it happened, but when it actually did, I was shocked. And my world changed more than it ever had before.