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“As 8th graders, we are sad that our language activity weeks to France, Germany, and Spain have been canceled.”

“In December 2019, a disease outbreak occurred in Wuhan Province, China. This was originally known to the rest of the world as Coronavirus. Speculation still surrounds the origins of this disease with multiple stories and fake news outlets being used in the early days. However, this was not merely a contained epidemic as international travel passed the virus from country to country.

International panic
COVID-19 has caused international panic leading to the closure of many borders and the suspension of flights. Many lives have been put on hold as restaurants, bars, and shops have been forced into closure along with workplaces and schools. In the weeks leading up to the school closure panic began to rise in Copenhagen International School particularly. As an international school, we have a greater risk of many of the community members getting infected due to traveling. Before the February break 2020 our school director Sandy Mackenzie asked everyone to be cautious of where they were traveling to prevent the spread of COVID-19. At that time the virus had approximately 80,000 cases worldwide and the spread was anticipated.

School closure
Time slots in Science lessons were designated to learning about COVID-19 and asking questions. Hand sanitizer began popping up all over the place and food serving utensils could no longer be used by students. Posters from WHO (World Health Organization) were put up around the school informing us on how to prevent the spread. Daily updates were sent out by our school director Sandy Mackenzie and a crisis team was formed to discuss at the time a possible school closure. The thought of school closing had some people very thrilled and happy to hear of it however many were also terrified about the uncertainty and quick changes that were about to happen.On March 11, the Danish Primeminister Mette Fredriksen announced the closure of all schools in Denmark effective from March 16th.

Remote learning
As a result of the school closure, all towers have undergone remote learning trying to follow a normal schedule and keep up a high standard of schooling.The switch to remote learning caused teachers to plan lots of new/updated lessons that could be done virtually. Google meet invites were being sent for classes and meetings, hundreds of email saying accepted were sent back to the sender flooding their inboxes. The portal and google classroom were being updated daily making sure that everyone knew what was going on with the first few classes. On Monday March 16th, remote learning began. A later start to the day was enjoyed (9:00) and the first few days were used to figure out how this was all going to work with managing a new schedule and possibly awkwardly laughing in the first google meets. After completing the first week, on Friday the middle school and high school counselors invited students and teachers to participate in a 5 minute google dance to celebrate completing the first week of remote learning. Teachers were having virtual staff meetings and the middle school staff decided to put together a music video to give us a laugh and show us the energy we should all encourage ourselves to have. There was also a MS challenge that was put together for staff and students to complete to try and give us time away from our screens.

Snacking, relaxing and missing your friends
It was a big change going from regular school to remote learning. Being at home for extended periods of time, missing your friends, trying to draw a line between your workspace and a place to relax and trying not to let stress take over work or just procrastination. However there are some positives that people have said such as; you are able to snack whenever you want, time to relax, you can be by yourself, work at your own speed and also stay away from most of the drama from school. It would also be hard not to say that boredom occurred at some points since activities and sports have been canceled. The schedule was revised for week 3 of Remote learning. With 3 classes a day and 2 hours for lunch and mindfulness. This allowed for less stress in the day and to take a break away from screens.

Cancelled events
Many events, concerts, and birthday parties have been postponed in the months of March and April due to this virus. The summer 2020 Olympics and Euro 2020 have also been postponed to 2021. As 8th graders, we are sad that our language activity weeks to France, Germany, and Spain have been canceled. In Denmark, a 10 person limit has been put in place making the laws stricter implementing police patrols in public spaces to monitor the situation. However, in comparison, other countries have been stricter.

The summer of 2020
Even after 4 months of COVID-19 dominating the news and our lives, we are still said not to have reached the peak of cases. Sadness and fear are rising over people about if there will be a summer in 2020 and if this will ever get better. The uncertainty of this all can be very frightening and the changes are hard to wrap our head around.”

By Larkin Dullea and Lucy Schroeder, Grade 8