The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

Quarantine’s toll on student jobs

Senior Queenie Chan juggles online art classes alongside college applications and working at her parents restaurant.
Photo courtesy of Queenie Chan
Senior Queenie Chan juggles online art classes alongside college applications and working at her parents’ restaurant.

In March 2020, Walter Johnson transitioned from in-person to virtual schooling in a historic move to stem the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the course of quarantine, WJ students have taken on jobs and grown accustomed to staying inside for months on end.
Certain aspects of student life remained constant, such as students seeking employment to save money during the school year. Senior Noah Weissman works at Arby’s, while senior Madison Mateo took on a babysitting job. Both of them feel the stress of working an in-person job while knowing it increases their risk of contracting COVID-19.
“I was a little hesitant about taking the babysitting job because of COVID, but the building is good with their restrictions and I usually wear a mask around the kids. And so I’m definitely more comfortable with it but I’m still, you know, taking all the precautions I can,” Mateo said.
For others, the tribulations of COVID have changed their career paths entirely. Although she says it has not affected her daily life that much, senior Queenie Chan changed her major from art to computer science to maintain job security after witnessing the spike in American unemployment during the pandemic. Chan came to this decision after working at her parents’ restaurant.
“From what my parents say, in terms of business, it’s actually been better, because we’re just takeout, we’ve always been takeout,” Chan said.
Introverts like Weissman and Chan have found quarantining indoors to be occasionally enjoyable, but increasingly exhausting as time drags on. Weissman found that the close quarters helped him grow closer with his family. Chen continues to work at Fast Wok, her parents’ restaurant, taking orders at the front. However, Weissman, Chan and Mateo all agreed that quarantine has drastically increased their procrastination.
“It’s now much harder to think about getting things done, because it’s kind of made my procrastination get worse now. Because I can just say ‘I’ll just do it tomorrow’ and I can wake up tomorrow and nothing will change. And it kind of makes it easier to put stuff off,” Weissman said.
The dangers of employment, when combined with the turbulence of current political events racking the nation, have made school more stressful for most. The rise in coronavirus cases has taken a toll on students.
“It can sometimes make it hard to focus on schoolwork when there’s just so much happening in the world. School just seems a little trivial compared to that,” Weissman said.

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Niki Mallik
Niki Mallik, Photography Editor
Senior Niki Mallik is excited for her first year in the Pitch. She plays French horn in Symphonic Orchestra, writes music and is committed to staying educated on world issues and writing many articles this year.
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