The world has undergone seismic shifts in recent weeks and businesses, governments and communities have pivoted to keep up. These changes have not gone unnoticed by children, and they are eager to return to normality.
Six primary school children, aged 8 to 12, shared their experience during COVID-19 with Square Holes.
Many mentioned learning about viruses in school, and have been doing their best to keep up with restrictions:
“Keep a 1.5 metre distance. [It’s hard to do at school] because I usually play games like chasey.”
“With all this new information and this is the first time this is happening in a hundred years, it’s very overwhelming. Sometimes you forget those rules. And since there is a lot of them, it’s hard to remember all of them.”
“All I know is that in Australia we’ve definitely flattened the curve. That means stopping the spread, and stopping the amount. Since we’ve been doing self-isolation, the amount of cases in Australia is really small, especially in South Australia. In South Australia, we only have 7 cases. It’s been more than 11 days in South Australia since someone has been infected.”
Like many adults, these children gained a new appreciation for simple things in life after social distancing:
“I would like to go do my sports. I’ve been stuck at home for about five weeks and it makes me want to go to school more. It makes me really excited to go to school.”
This newfound appreciation is partially due to the fact that online activities are not the same as real life:
“I think it’s because you get active and then after, even if it’s not fun during, you get the feeling you’ve accomplished something. Online it’s not the same.”
“I’ve been missing doing yoga with my mum. I used to go to a class but now we just do it online together which is not really the same as it used to be… I guess you don’t get to experience as much as you would as if you were going. I made a new friend in yoga and I haven’t seen her in a long time. So it’s kind of disappointing.”
“You get to make new friends. You can’t really make new friends online or play sport online.”
And partially because online school isn’t as easy as it sounds:
“[Online school] much more confusing and it’s mostly on the iPad. Sometimes the teachers type the wrong thing. Or what the instructions say can be quite confusing… When you do class Zooms, it kind of feels weird because you’re used to everybody just looking at the teacher. And then when you’re doing Zooms it feels like everybody is looking at you.”
“It’s a lot more difficult because lots of teachers don’t know much about online stuff. We’ve had a couple of times where teachers have scheduled classes for 10pm instead of 10am. At 10:00 at night you’ll get a thing on your phone saying, ‘It’s time for class'”
In many ways, their experience has not been all that different from adults. Read about our previous discussions with other age groups to make sense of our world today.