COVID: Gone for Good?



A disillusioned high school student reflects on the impact of Covid two years later.


Today the question remains: Is the Covid Pandemic still relevant? After over two years since the Pandemic started, and eight months since the mask mandate was lifted, students remain unsure about the current status of this disease. 

With school re-opening, students often have trouble distinguishing symptoms of allergies or the flu from that of Covid. Echoing this, the Edison Township Public Schools acknowledged that the flu may be hard to distinguish from Covid. Many students claim that a large number of their friends have been absent due to allergies; corroborating this, research from stated that this was due to the rise in ragweed pollen in September.  However, the role of undetected covid in such absences remains unknown. 

It is very difficult to distinguish the flu from other viral or bacterial causes of respiratory illnesses on the basis of symptoms alone. There are tests available to diagnose flu and antiviral drugs that can help lessen the severity of a flu virus. Contact your family physician if you suspect that you, or someone in your family, may have the flu,” said Mr. Christopher Conklin, Assistant Superintendent for Pupil Special Services. 

Most students no longer wear masks as Covid’s impact on student health continues to lessen. Vaccinations in New Jersey have given the students a sense of comfort and protection that brings us closer to pre-pandemic normalcy.  

“I think that covid is still an issue globally, but because most people in our school are vaccinated, the number of cases isn’t that high so it’s not much of a worry,” said Niranjana Ali ’24.

Nevertheless, there remains a small percentage of maskers in school. To keep vulnerable relatives at home safe, some students choose to wear masks.

Adjusting to the change from virtual to in-person school is a continuing challenge. The impacts of the time lost were felt across the entire school district. 

“There was a lot more time available to finish school work and manage extracurriculars, so I could be more relaxed,” said Aimee Jose ‘24, “But, going back to a regular school year I quickly realized that I wouldn’t have enough time to accomplish as much as I could in the previous year, so I struggled to make time for everything.”

She and others still face the impacts of Covid in their academic and extra-curricular schedules. 

Edison High School and its staff are aware of these impacts and are working towards finding solutions to pandemic-related problems students face. 

“Yes, it is evident that there were residual effects on both students and faculty,” said guidance counselor Ms. Sinyee Muglia.

“Upon returning to fully back in-person last year,” said Muglia, “we continued to offer SEL groups to students every semester, with ranging topics of emotional regulation, social skills building, stress management, time management, and drug and substance abuse.” Research suggests that SEL groups like these could be beneficial for students, especially high school students, in terms of self-awareness, academic achievements, and most importantly, reversing the “side effects” of the Covid Pandemic.  

Students have also struggled to come to terms with the lost time due to quarantining at home. Many felt “uninvolved” in school or did not have the time or the opportunity to join extracurriculars. 

“A lot of that ‘high school experience’ feels like it’s gone, you know. I constantly feel like I’ve missed out on so much because I wasn’t really able to do a lot due to Covid,” said Sanjana Ramesh ‘24.  

Seniors reflected on their last four years of high school, noting the amount of time they spent behind computers, unable to participate in extracurriculars. 

“I personally felt that it was wasted time where it could’ve been an extra year of activities and that would’ve been great on applications,” said Ivy Lin ‘23. “The transitioning from online to in-person again might have discouraged a lot of people from participating in school activities and events since they might not be familiar with these types of activities.”  

The recent club fair enabled many to interact with peers and pursue non-academic interests once again post-Covid.