The Saratoga Sun -

A kid's take on COVID

A variety of youngsters in Carbon County share their views on the COVID age


December 2, 2020

Saratoga Sun file photo

A sign from the past.

Coronavirus (COVID) has changed how the world operates.

Businesses are shuttered and people are finding themselves staying away from family and friends in order to be safe.

By most standards, this is a tough time in our history.

As hard as it is for adults, many kids, of all ages, are finding themselves having to incorporate the rules and protocols of staying safe from COVID into their day-to-day life that makes them question if the measures are all worth it.

"When COVID started I couldn't visit some of my family in California," Hanna, Elk Mountain, Medicine Bow (HEM) Junior/High 7th grader Samuel Ramirez said. "My personal opinion is that it is overrated, the flu causes more deaths than COVID."

Ramirez is not the only young adult to feel there is an over reaction going on concerning the measures being taken to keep Carbon County residents safe.

HEM sophomore Howard Bame said, "COVID-19 is a bad virus affecting the whole world. It has changed school in ways that were unimaginable. I do believe that COVID is overrated and the media blew it out of proportion."

Aravis Hendricks agrees with Bame there has been an overreaction.

"I think that the government is over reacting," Hendricks, a junior from HEM said. "There is not enough information available to justify these decisions. Science is a slow process. It takes a while for us to get accurate information, so our government's reactions has been too sudden on a lot of these issues."

The COVID spike in the summer caused events to be canceled, some that have been going on for years. The closures, in turn caused disappointment.

"COVID has affected me because we were not able to go to Park City this summer to compete in the World Championship Elk Calling contest," HEM 8th grader Cody Priest said. "That was discouraging."

Beyond summer, the restrictions that have been put forth have caused hardship for some students that had hoped to travel to tournaments.

"Many trips have been cancelled because of COVID," Charla Widdison, HEM 11th grade student, said. She was on the HEM girls volleyball team. "Our high school volleyball team worked hard raising money to go to Florida for a tournament in September only to have the WHSAA (Wyoming High School Athletics Association) cancel it right before our season began. There have been a lot of things that we can't do because of restrictions."

Although many sports events were canceled outside the Carbon County School District No. 2, fall sports were able to be played this season.

Student athletes were thankful.

Saratoga Middle High School (Saratoga) senior Teegan Love was happy to have a football season after last year's cancellations of all spring sports.

"I am just really glad we had a season this year," Love said. "There were things that were a little different this year but at least we got to play."

Saratoga senior Noah Rimmer, like Love, is pleased to be in school versus being taught online.

"Really, nothing has changed too much except the strictness of wearing masks," Rimmer said. "It is fine, because if it allows me to be in school with my friends, coaches and teachers, and have a sports season, it is just a bump in the road and I will do what has to be done."

Geoffrey Johnson, a junior at Saratoga, agreed with Rimmer that getting to have sports in the fall was important to him.

"I am glad we had a season this year, the way things are going, we might not have," Johnson said. "It was great to play football and get to a playoff game. It would have been sad if we had not had a season."

Wearing masks seems to be a sticking point concerning some kids. Although many accept they are necessary, others do not.

"I think that COVID-19 is a very weird time because everywhere we go we have to wear masks," Madison Widdison. a 7th grader at HEM, said. "I don't think masks help because we are keeping in our own air, which is not good."

Other students see masks in a different light.

"I wanted to see my friends for the last time before I moved to Wyoming from Colorado but couldn't because of the lockdowns," HEM 8th grader Kaytie Brown said. "I don't think what we are doing is an overreaction. If you wear a mask you may personally prevent COVID, but if everyone wears a mask I think this would be over faster."

Then there are those who are not quite sure what to believe.

"I think we have to be careful but, on the other hand, I hate masks," HEM 7th grader Corbin Williams said. "I don't want to do online school, so I am in the middle."

This pandemic, and the different messages being put forth on how to deal with it, doesn't make it easy for kids to have a clear opinion on the matter.

"I think COVID is a little over exaggerated and it isn't as bad as people say," Kyler Proffitt said, who is a sophomore at HEM. "But, I still think that it should still be taken seriously because it does affect people's lives."

"Things do feel a little different this year," Gavin Bartlett, a Saratoga 11th grader said. "The seating capacities having to be be limited is a noticeable effect, but I am grateful I am playing right now and hope we get to continue playing sports with basketball."

Joseph Borah, a junior at HEM, feels the protocols introduced to prevent COVID need to be followed.

"Covid has affected me by making me skeptical of other people, like thinking they might have it," Borah said. "I think the state is reacting properly they just need to enforce the rules better, such as the mask mandates or the quarantine rules."

Kids of all ages understand life around them is changing.

Jareth Wood, who is a six year old attending 1st grade at Encampment, has had his young life change since last spring. He didn't like the school closure.

"I was a little sad because I couldn't see all my friends," Wood said. "School at home wasn't the same."

Wood found he was not able to have hikes and have play dates this summer. He was pleased school opened in the fall.

"I was bunches of happy when I heard I get to go to school this year," Wood said.

He understands in order to get to go to school, he must wear a mask.

"I don't like to wear a mask. Sometimes I can't breath," Wood said. "I have to wear it going home. I can take it off when I am in class. But if I have to have move around, I put it on. I have to wear it, so I don't get the coronavirus, I follow the rules."

Wood said most of school activities are similar to last year. He does note one exception.

"Things are the same except for snack pack is different," The youngster observed.

Wood is referring to the change that snacks must be prepackaged. Gone are the days of fresh cut apples or children sharing a box of cookies with the class during the times they are allowed to eat snacks.

Kids have learned to face days differently than any time other in recent memory.

"I usually have a lot of family at my house for Thanksgiving but I couldn't this year because of COVID-19," Alejandra Quiroga, a 7th grader at HEM, said.

Besides family get togethers being canceled, there is always the possibility of being put in quarantine.

"COVID affects me personally because my family had to cancel some trips that we were planning over the summer and in school. Almost half of my class is currently being quarantined," Tyler Nordquist, a freshman at HEM, said. "I think the nation has had an under reaction to COVID and there are not enough restrictions in place."

Like adults, kids have many differing opinions on COVID and what needs to be done to stay safe. Life has changed for many over the past year.

The one thing the kids and adults share is the belief this pandemic can't be over soon enough.


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