Tag Archives: pandemic life

Preparing For An 8-Week-Old Puppy

A Female Shih Tzu named Oreo McFlurry Martinez

by Mia Martinez

Would you own a puppy right now if you were able to?

For weeks, I had been wondering what to name my new puppy. She would be arriving in 7 weeks! I needed a name. It took me a while to figure out the perfect one. While my cousin, who is also getting a puppy, and I were texting, she gave me the idea of Oreo McFlurry. Instantly,  I thought YES! My puppy’s black and white fur and the name Oreo fit perfectly.

The puppy was born January 3rd,  so I have to wait a total of 8 weeks to bring my new friend home. In the meantime I will be creating a little corner for her in my room with a crate, bed, blankets, pads, and toys.

Necessities

This puppy will be the 2nd dog I have owned. But I haven’t had a dog in a couple of years. So I am going off of my memory of what I remember from having a dog in the past. I recall some of the basic necessities they needed on a day to day basis. 

She will need pads, training treats, food, a crate, a bed, blankets, and toys, And Items for her hygiene care such as a brush, shampoo, conditioner, etc. From YouTube videos I watched about the same breed of a dog is that some leashes and collars are better than others and now I know which ones are better.

It was important to research this breed to learn how big she’d get. The reason it was important is because I needed to know what size bed and crate to get her, so I wouldn’t need to continue buying new beds and crates as she grows.

Why get a puppy right now?

Since COVID-19, everyone is at home–well–everyone should be staying at home–so instead of being bored, doing nothing, and especially instead of being by yourself you could have a little buddy to lighten up your day!

The dog could bring pleasure into your day. Since there is a lot of negativity in the world right now, having a puppy might bring you joy and help you emotionally and physically. Even though taking care of a puppy is a lot of work, the benefits are worth it. 

Dogs can reduce stress and anxiety, and they can ease loneliness and depression. For these reasons, dogs are great companions for older adults too. 

Dogs can help you be more physical because they need to go on walks, and they enjoy activity. You can chase them around the house or the yard and play catch or fetch with them. All of this gets your heart beating faster in a good way. Something many of us really need these days. 

So since we are in quarantine, and since we really don’t know how much longer this pandemic will last, we should all make the most out of being at home. 

For me, the answer was simple: I got a puppy!

from TheSprucePets.com

Opinion: Senior Year 2021

by Joceline Rodriguez 

Senior year. It’s said to be one of the best years of high school. Normally, there are so many fun activities and events to enjoy with your friends as school is coming to an end. It’s one time in our lives that we’ll never be able to experience again.

Although most teens would agree that school sucks, and it is not very fun, what IS amazing is how we meet new people and develop new friendships. School has its ups and downs for sure,  but it’s honestly a great experience–with the right people.

Before COVID, everyone would always complain about going to school, and they talked about how much they would prefer to do school online instead of dragging themselves half-asleep to campus every day.

But now, after a year of “learning” at home,  I know many kids and adults who would jump at the chance to return to campus right now instead of doing classes via Zoom and Schoology all day every day alone and in isolation.

At first it was not bad. In fact, it was kind of fun–a novelty.  But the newness has quickly worn down like an over-sharpened pencil.

Last year, the class of 2020 suffered major disappointments. They didn’t get to have the full senior experience with prom, activities, and graduation. On campus life was cut short–right at the most exciting part of the year.

Graduates couldn’t walk the stage in person with their friends.  Families couldn’t sit in the crowd and cheered them on. Instead, all everyone got was just a video of all the seniors’ pictures on a TV screen.

However, this years’ seniors have it worse. We didn’t even get to step foot on campus for one day of our senior year! And it sucks knowing that we probably won’t be having graduation in person either.

We’re all wishing for things to get better. We’re all hoping that the vaccine will allow us to actually graduate live and in person. We’re all at home waiting.

But, no matter what happens, we can finally see a light at the end of the dark and lonely tunnel. Eventually everything will go back to normal.

Maybe the class of 2022 will be able to experience the whole traditional senior year thing complete with dances, homecoming, prom, grad night, and an actual graduation.

If they do, I hope they truly appreciate it.

CIF Announcement

by Andrea Arias

The CIF organization made two important announcements about the future of high school sports in the 2020-2021 school year. On January 19, 2021, they announced that fall sports will no longer have a playoffs. This will give these sports a larger window to have a regular season, meaning the likelihood of playing more games overall but also having no postseason to look forward to. Instead, student-athletes will have to wait ideally for the possibility of playing this year, as it is still each individual district’s decision if sports will resume at their schools.

Just two days later, on January 21, CIF released another document stating the regulations and guidelines for sports as their seasons approach and begin. The general consensus from these documents is that all athletes would be required to wear masks, benches will not switch sides, electronic whistles will be used by referees, and more health and safety protocols. All of these regulations are done to help reduce the spread and keep the athletes safe while still giving them the opportunity to compete.

*Note: COVID Regulations differ for each sport due to differences in rules and method of playing*

Pandemic Taking a Steep Emotional Toll on Young People

By Abby Corado

Studies have shown that along with the economic status plummeting, so has mental health. With having to quarantine ourselves, social distance, and adapt to the pandemic’s lifestyle, our general well-being has been compromised in doing so.

In Dr. Ronald W. Pies’ article “Is the Country Experiencing a Mental Health Pandemic?” at the Psychiatric Times, he observes that, “The prevalence of anxiety and depression symptoms were substantially higher than reported in 2019.” The age group of those are around the age of 18 and below are deemed to be more likely in experiencing symptoms of anxiety disorder, trauma stressor-related disorder (due to the pandemic), and depression. Because of this pandemic, an increase in mental illnesses has occurred, and those that experienced these mental illnesses prior to the pandemic seem to have their symptoms heightened.

I can easily attest to being affected by these substantial standards and say that I’ve found my easy-going and social nature to be reduced down from extrovertedness to being a hermit. Life before the pandemic–in which I was my most outgoing self–held instances where I was willing to try new things and just be my loud self. At school, I would randomly talk to people without worrying about if they found me weird just in hopes of making new friends. Now, I often find my already-present anxiety enhanced when performing simple tasks in public such as asking a Walmart employee where the toilet paper is or even ordering my food.

To simplify, I, like many of you, find difficulty in basic tasks that involve little-to-no human interaction and find safety and comfort in my room. 

Mental health should be one of your top priorities in order to be able to feel nourished and fulfilled with what you do in life. Now that it’s a new year, I wanted to officially create habits that are everlasting in regards to my mental well-being and have decided to research ways that will further support your psychiatric sanity. It affects how you make decisions, how you perceive certain topics, and how you handle high-stress situations.

So you may be asking yourself, “What can I do in order to replenish and nourish my mental health under all these circumstances?” There are plenty of ways that you can treat and take care of yourself. In “Ten Things You Can Do for Your Mental Health | University Health Service” the University of Michigan provides 10 helpful tips on ways that you can start prioritizing yourself and your mental well-being. Some habits that have helped me through this pandemic would be getting out of my room and giving myself time away from technology–just basking in the sun’s warmth–making sure that I try to keep my room clean, and not being so hard on myself while leaving room to make mistakes.

Though mental illnesses in its entirety can be difficult to cope with and easily become a burden to your lifestyle, you can start by doing easy tasks such as making your bed in the morning or drinking the right amount of water in order to feel more accomplished and motivated to continue doing better for yourself.

Should Students Return to Campus?

By Mathew Ruiz

Despite the pandemic going on, Covid-19 is affecting thousands of people each day. Focusing on school, I believe that it is best for students to stay home because it can protect their health and their families. If a student tests positive for Covid and is at school, that student is putting everyone at risk, including their family at home. There is a vaccine for Covid from Pfizer or Moderna, and this helps for people who have little chance of getting the virus. Right now, however, almost every school in California is doing online learning which is especially good for children since they are at such a young age.

•Teachers getting vaccinated?

Many teachers want to be vaccinated so they can go back to work, but few have gotten vaccinated due to limited supply. Taking the vaccine can give you mild to severe side effects such as fatigue, fever, or body aches, but many teachers say it’s worth it. I believe that despite the vaccine for teachers, we should still stay home because if a student has the virus at school then it could spread to others.

Covid is a virus that we have never seen before in our time. Thousands of people are dying from it every day because of how contagious this virus really is. It is very important for every single person outside to wear a mask because the virus can spread so easily with just one breath.

Therefore, it is best for us to stay home despite the fact that learning in school is much easier than having to do a Zoom with other classmates. In the end, our health and families are more important.

COVID Vaccine News Round-Up

By Hermaione Sanchez

For all of us, the goal should be to get vaccinated and reach herd immunity in order for this pandemic to be over. According to experts, 85% of Americans need to be vaccinated in order for this to happen. As of February 8, 4,746,539 vaccine doses have been given out. About 40 million people live in California, and of these, only 9.6% have received the vaccine.

Here’s a round-up of more vaccine news:

  • Health-care workers were first on the list for these vaccines, along with long-term care facility residents. 
  • On January 13, Governor Newsom announced accessibility to those 65 and older. 
  • Newsom also announced major vaccination sites like Dodger Stadium, Disneyland, CalExpo, PETCO Park in San Diego, and more.
  • On January 25, it was announced that the next phase will be giving accessibility to age-based groups.
*Availability and distribution depends on the country and the doses provided. It is always best to check up on your county’s information and stay updated to see if you or anyone you know qualifies.

As of the first week of February, L.A. County has received 1.2 million doses, and 89% of those have already been used. 184,000 doses were received last week, too. Many of those were saved as a second dose. 218,000 doses are expected to be received this week and more than half of those are going towards the second-dose vaccine. In L.A. County, as of February 8, only those aged 65+, health care workers and residents/staff at long-term care facilities are eligible for the COVID vaccine. Those eligible can make appointments through this link: http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/acd/ncorona2019/vaccine/hcwsignup/ 

In L.A. County, starting on February 16, those in need of the second dose were able to obtain it at Pomona Fairplex, the Forum, Six Flags Magic Mountain, The Los Angeles County Office of Education in Downey, Cal State University Northridge, Balboa Sports Complex and El Sereno. Proof of the first dose will be needed in order to enter and get vaccinated.

The Quarantine Diaries: Part 3

All diary entries submitted are from the students of the Shoemaker Bugle. For confidentiality of our personal lives, we’re using code names instead of just the plain “anonymous.” The diaries are for readers to feel less alone and have someone to relate to.


Dear Diary,

I made a big change in my life and I think it might have been the best thing I have ever done for myself. At the cost of my grades, I decided that I would simply do what I want. My grades have never been worse, but I don’t care and it is so refreshing not to care. I feel like I put so much pressure on myself when I tried to keep up with school and at first it was easy, but as time went it just got harder.

-Goob


Dear Diary,

My grades have never been worse. It’s not like I do it on purpose; I just feel so off. I am not myself. School feels like it’s getting tougher, I don’t have motivation to do much really. I really want life to go back to normal, to be honest. Hopefully soon I get more motivation and start to do things I love. I really miss it.

-Squidward


Dear Diary,

I’ve overcome my procrastination phase. Seeing my final grade for semester one made me disappointed in myself. I could have done a lot better. I didn’t make a plan to get better grades this semester but only to do the work the day it’s assigned, or at least start it. Once I open an assignment, I loathe doing it so much I rush myself through it to get it done as soon as possible. It has worked so far, only with weekends being actual weekends for me, I don’t open my laptop until school starts on Monday, so sometimes the Sunday homework piles itself up.

Other than school, life is becoming entertaining. I started journaling, reading, and watching TV again, but if anything gets boring after a few minutes I stop and listen to music instead. 

Graduation is letting itself through the door soon and I’m happy as I am frightened. I still do not want to go to college, but with the non stop talk about it from my parents, I’m bound to go. I might just drop out the first semester. I hope I don’t, but I know myself and I can see it in my future. Sometimes you have to do what you don’t want to do.

-James Dean

How to Celebrate Valentine’s Day During the Pandemic

By Hermaione Sanchez

The pandemic has hit all of us hard. Many things have changed and that is without question. But that doesn’t mean you can’t take care of yourself and have fun on Valentine’s Day.

A quite popular idea that has been going around on TikTok is having a picnic. Now, if you are by yourself, you can simply have all this in your room or wherever you prefer and watch your favorite movie while enjoying the snacks and a cute set-up. If with your partner or best friend, you can have this at a park (away from strangers) or your front yard if you’re more comfortable with that.

Here is what this picnic consists of:

TikTok cake picnic, featuring cutting the cake with a wine glass!

It has very “vintage” vibes. Drinking out of wine glasses with your favorite drink, like lemonade, cranberry juice, soda, etc. Your choice, of course. Then, there’s a special way to eat the cake–this is the trend going around. You get a cake–usually it’s a cute/weird cake like a frog cake, or something unique (maybe even something homemade, which can only add to the fun). To eat this cake, you get an extra wine glass and just stick it in. You scoop the cake out and now you have a glass full of cake (pictured, above). There you go, that’s how you are going to eat! Fun right? Well, for some people. It is different and fun to try out.

Usually, there is a lot of fruit at picnics, too. Try a cute, medium-sized fruit platter with your favorite fruit or all kinds of berries. For the main food, you can either buy fast food or make something homemade. Usually, people will have a platter with ham, cheese, bread, and anything else they enjoy to make their own sandwich. You can customize this to your liking, of course. 

With this picnic comes some type of fun activity. If you’re alone, try reading your favorite book, watching your favorite movie, drawing, or painting. Doing whatever you love is ideal. If you’re with someone, the same thing applies–you can paint together, watch a movie, listen to music, or simply talk. Having a photoshoot is also great because of the cute picnic as a setting.

If picnics aren’t your thing, you and your partner can recreate your favorite fancy food or fast food at a table. To add a little bit of spice (no pun intended), you can have a cook-off.

Buying simple snacks and watching your favorite movie is always a fun simple option, too. Learn something new together or show each other your favorite food combos.

If you’re spending this day alone, make it all for you. Wear a beauty mask, take a warm bath or shower, play your favorite video game or movie, eat your favorite snacks or even a yummy cake! It’s all up to you to make this day amazing. Being alone doesn’t mean being bored and sad. It means you can do whatever YOU love and eat whatever you want. Love yourself always and remember to stay healthy and stay safe.

My Covid-19 Experience

By An Anonymous Student

On November 15, 2020 I woke up with a sore throat in the morning. I did not know how I got it, especially after not being sick for months. But something was not adding up. During this whole pandemic my family and I were always at home, still leaving us in shock to find that I got Covid.

After the first day, my second symptom was a runny nose which started on Monday. On that day, my nose hurt so bad when I would sneeze, my chest would hurt, and my nose was super red after blowing it with so much tissue. My trash can was full of tissues and that was the most that I have ever filled it up with. I had also lost my taste and smell and those were only Covid symptoms I got, but I would never have thought that it would be that. 

The next day, I went to take a rapid Covid test. When you put the swab in your nose it is super uncomfortable; it didn’t hurt me, however it can hurt others because everyone is different. An hour later, the laboratory called my mom saying that I was positive for Covid-19. I was in shock that I got it and I honestly did not know where I got it from. I was not scared though, because you have to stay strong and keep a positive mindset.

So once I got my results, I ate and then went to my room for the rest of the night and then started my quarantine the next day. My quarantine was hard because I’m not used to being in my room for 14 days and doing nothing but I made the best out of it. I did activities such as painting, playing board games, and vibing to music.

I thank God that we all got mild symptoms and my family members are healed. We are lucky that we did not get as sick because we did not get it as bad as other people have. I am very thankful that we are healed and we all got better. My parents had a trip to go to and they had to cancel it because they did not want to leave us alone while we were supposed to be at home. It was very hard for us, too, because we had to stay home during Thanksgiving, but we made the best out of it.

It was also hard because some of my other family members were also affected with the virus, including my parents. But let me tell you this–if you are affected by the virus, make sure you take a lot of Vitamin C and teas with lemon and honey. These natural home remedies helped me a lot throughout the two weeks that I was home. After one week, my smell started to come back but my taste buds are still not 100% there, but I know it will come back soon.

If you have been affected by Covid-19, please stay home and away from others and quarantine yourself until you start to feel better again. If you think that Covid is not real, it IS, because my family, and I all experienced it firsthand.

Covid-19 Vaccine Timeline

By Monserrat Juarez

The CDC announced that Pfizer and Moderna will be releasing their vaccines to healthcare workers and nursing home residents starting this month. There is a timeline that experts want to follow and it looks like this:

  • December: Healthcare workers and nursing home residents will probably receive the first vaccinations. 40 million doses will be available, so only 20 million people can receive the vaccine because after a few weeks, those people who received the vaccine will have to get another dose.

  • January: 40 million doses will be available so only 20 million people can receive the vaccine because after a few weeks, those people who received the vaccine will have to get another dose. By early 2021, there will be about 70 million doses available for 35 million people. At this point, healthcare workers are still going to be top priority.

  • February and March: People over 65 years of age, people with medical conditions that put them at risk because of infection, and essential workers in education, food, transportation, and law enforcement.

  • April-June: Nonessential workers that are younger than 65 years old will probably start receiving the vaccine. It is expected that the majority of Americans will already be vaccinated by summer’s end.

According to this timeline, the CDC predicts that large gatherings will be more safe by the summer. However, this does not mean that people should simply go out to eat carelessly because there is still risk.

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