COVID Causes Many Teens to Miss Socializing With Peers


Thomas Moua

Alex Roy at Hmong New Year last November before COVID with friends.

Alex Roy, Staff Writer

COVID-19 hit the world by storm in mid-March, closing down businesses, schools, municipal buildings, and causing hospitals to be overrun. In the beginning of Coronavirus in Oregon, schools were predicted to be closed for three to four weeks, giving students and teachers an extended spring break. Those three weeks were extended and school has been closed to in-person learning indefinitely.    

These last few months have changed the way we live and masks and social distancing have become the new norm. Statewide lockdown procedures were also put in place, making it difficult to go outside, causing boredom for many people. 

Boredom for many people is now cured by phones or TV or video games or any kind of screen. Even before COVID this might have been the way people cured their boredom but students could spontaneously text friends and minutes later they could be hanging out with them.  Because of COVID, this aspect of socialization is no longer possible.

Socializing is a big part of many teenagers’ lives and with the lockdown many haven’t been able to be with their friends and extended family. Since people can’t go out, they’ve found alternative ways to socialize. 

I keep in contact with family and friends by FaceTime, texting, calling, and social media,” senior Tina Homsanith said.

There are many ways to keep in touch with people without seeing them in person. Technology has really helped allow for more socialization when in a lockdown.   “I usually FaceTime them or talk to them during video games. If I don’t do that I see them in person some way,” junior Tyler Hockert said. 

Since the lockdown procedures started in March they have been toned down and people have been going out a bit more. 

“I’m keeping in contact with friends and family through text and call, but sometimes we have a small get together,” junior Darian Flowers said. 

This pandemic has changed so many people’s lives and many people have had to find new ways of entertainment and communication 

“To entertain myself, I like to watch TV, read, practice singing, and practice keyboard,” Homasanith said. 

“I have been going to the gym and playing a lot more video games since there has been quarantine,” Hockert said. 

Besides practicing things they already know, some people have learned new skills with the extra time they have had while stuck at home..

“Since quarantine started, I’ve learned how to weld, wire car stereos, grind metal, run an excavator, do body work on a car, prep a car to be painted, pull out a car engine, work on cars, do shower plumbing, replace sheetrock on a wall, put on roofing, reupholster seats, and putting carpet in a car,” Flowers said. 

COVID and the lockdown changed the way people live and caused everyone to be more cautious in the world around them, but thanks to technology many can still keep in touch with friends and family in a safe way, and maybe learn something new as everyone looks for ways to fill time.