What Distance Can Do: The editors reflect upon the state of their world

Jayna Dias is the Personality Editor for Oswego East High School’s online news magazine the Howl

22 March 2020, 9:06 p.m.


Thank you for helping me realize what I value. This involuntary social detox really puts it into perspective what matters when the walls of my bedroom and the television screen are about the only things to look at. 

While I think it was inappropriately dramatic of you to threaten the idea of me not getting to finish my senior track season, I have come to realize how important the sport is to me now that official practices are cancelled. I do not particularly enjoy triple jumping on my sidewalk and sprinting on the wet blacktop, but I am motivated to continually condition in case we’re fortunate enough to return.

Also because of you, Coronavirus, I have kept great contact with my family. My father is self-quarantined in Paris and we have already FaceTimed more than since he left back in July — we even do a 20 minute ab routine daily with my sister, who is staying in San Jose with my aunt due to her university requiring students to leave campus. 

So, thank you, Coronavirus. While you filled me with nothing but disdain and annoyance at first, now you have pushed me to keep myself prepared for what the future will look like when you finally disappear off all my feeds and you managed to keep my widespread family close. 

But don’t let that get to your head. We’re on our last three rolls of toilet paper, I have spontaneously ordered blue hair dye, and stayed up until three in the morning playing Just Dance because of you.  

Not so sincerely,

Jayna Dias


Namratha Prasad is the Features Editor for Oswego East High School’s online news magazine the Howl

20 March 2020, 9:50 a.m.

I made a bunch of jokes earlier today about how God was bored and just wanted to mess with humanity.

I’m not super religious, but this isolation feels scary because none of it feels real. I guess this fear sort of made me feel bad about what I said, and I decided to have a conversation about the jokes that I made this morning in front of my family with my fairly religious mom.

I asked her, “Do you think whatever supernatural power is up there is mad that I’m making fun of them?”

And she gave me a look and with the most sincere voice I have ever heard come out of her mouth through this whole isolation thing: “He knows that people make jokes in their time of need. However, he also knows that people turn to him in unexpected ways. He gave people on this earth a brain, and it’s what people choose to do with that brain that will get us out of this mess.” 

Again, I’m not super religious, but I don’t really have much to say other than this really made me think.

I, like many other seniors, am so nervous about missing out on so many different senior activities: especially prom and graduation. However, through my free time filled with watching Instagram lives of my favorite artists and Netflix partying with my friends, I can finally take peace in knowing that through all the uncertainty, it is my actions and my decision to take this social distancing seriously that I am helping my own chances of being able to enjoy the rest of my senior year.

Vivian La is the Opinion Editor for Oswego East High School’s online news magazine the Howl

19 March 2020, 11:20 p.m.

Seven days have passed since the announcement that we would not be in school for the entirety of this week due to a global pandemic. Writing that still does not seem real. This entire situation does not seem real, either. 

My social distancing routine involves checking Google Classroom for assignments, watching the news, listening to Governor Pritzker’s daily updates, and keeping in contact with my friends who are all going a little insane as well. 

Through all this self-quarantine and monotony, it’s hard not to think about and reflect on what lies ahead. For all seniors who are looking forward to graduation in less than two months, there’s a looming question about whether this and other important events will occur. Is it possible that we might have had our last day of high school already? 

There’s a lot of frustration as well. Comments from people who don’t believe that this situation is as serious as it is, or Snapchat stories of individuals spending spring break on a Florida beach are common — people are not understanding the gravity of this worldwide health concern. What one person does affects everyone else. It’s a scary time of misinformation, anger, and fear which leads to a lot of pointing fingers, placing blame, and hate.

The only thing we can really do in these situations is to be empathetic and take it day by day. It’s not the end of the world, but trying to justify selfish behaviors in these critical times will only make a bad situation worse. 

It’s important to stay informed through trusted news sources, take care of yourself, and remain hopeful. As uncertain as the future seems, we can’t panic. Be safe, wash your hands, and stay healthy.

Ben Schmidt is the Sports Editor for Oswego East High School’s online news magazine the Howl

19 March 2020, 3:45 p.m.

The boredom from not having school hasn’t completely set in yet, but I think that’s just because I’ve been able to get out of the house and go to work on a few of the days that we’ve been off. I work at Meijer, and with everyone rushing to the store to get essentials, every shift that I’ve worked has been pretty busy. Next week will be tough though staying at home, as I took the whole week off work since we were supposed to be gone for Spring Break. 

The first few days off when I wasn’t working, I spent hanging out with my friends, but that’s kind of cooled off as the situation with the virus has worsened. Usually, I get up and try to knock out a little bit of homework in the mornings (even though I haven’t had much), then spend the rest of the day doing whatever. I can definitely say my screen time has gone up, but if we’re being honest here, who’s hasn’t. 

I try to watch a little bit of the news when my Dad gets home from work each night, but I don’t really watch it during the rest of the day. I didn’t have to take the time to go and vote this week, since I don’t turn 18 until April, but I try to pay at least somewhat more attention than I have in the past (which was zero). Overall, I’m really just hoping people stay inside and don’t keep spreading this virus. With Wisconsin canceling school indefinitely, and Indiana canceling school today until May, I hope Illinois isn’t next. 

Ashita Wagh is the Arts & Entertainment Editor for Oswego East High School’s online news magazine the Howl

19 March 2020, 12:48 PM

Staying at home has been expectedly boring, but I keep myself occupied by reading, watching lots of Criminal Minds, and trying to prepare for the AP Calculus exam with Khan Academy. Honestly, I thought Collegeboard would end up cancelling the exam, but at least they’re letting us take it at home. I never thought my least favorite subject would help me distract myself from everything that’s happening, but it really has.

I guess the only thing I’m worried about is my senior year being cancelled. I know Kansas already cancelled school and California is considering it, so we very well could be next. It’s so weird that I might have just had my last day in high school without even knowing about it. I just hate how abruptly everything stopped. Ironically, I was talking about how people are overreacting about Coronavirus a couple weeks ago and now my life’s on hold because of it. 

On the bright side, I’m spending more time with my family and we surprisingly haven’t gotten on each other’s nerves yet. My parents and my brother are working from home so they’ve been too busy to get into stupid fights. In other news, I voted for the first time this week, which is something I’ve been looking forward to for about eight years now, so I guess life isn’t too bad. 

The entire staff of Oswego East High School’s online news magazine the Howl wishes you the very best during this challenging time.

Stay indoors. Wash your hands. Stay safe. Return to this online news magazine as needed.

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