How the pandemic affected elementary school students


Photo by Daphne Linn

Daphne L

For any student, the pandemic has dramatically changed their way of life over the past two years. Students who are currently in high school may have been anywhere from seventh to eleventh grade when the virus paused life as it had previously been.

However, for elementary school students, they could’ve been anywhere from 3 years old to 9 years old (3rd grade) when the pandemic took over. One third-grader and one second-grader share their experiences as elementary school students in the midst of a worldwide pandemic.
“I feel like we missed out on a lot,” says Gibson Linn, 9. Gibson Linn is a third-grade student at Nye Elementary in Hummelstown who was almost three-quarters of the way through his first-grade year when the pandemic hit. Gibson Linn says one thing he feels he missed out on the most was field trips. Gibson Linn had been especially looking forward to attending the Whitaker Center field trip in second grade, but it had been canceled due to COVID restrictions.

“At lunch we had to sit far away from each other,” Gibson Linn says, recalling the rules he wished there was no need to follow. As a second-grader, Gibson Linn had never experienced squeezing onto a bench with the rest of his classmates in a care-free setting. Instead, he’d had to be cautious because of the times he was in.”We couldn’t go to school sometimes,” recalls Harlon Linn, 8, a second-grader at Nye Elementary, who was in kindergarten when a national emergency had been called for the country. “It was like online school, go to school, online school, go to school.” Harlon Linn struggled with the constant change that a typical first-grade year would not have included. He was constantly wishing he could attend school full-time, something that most of us would never have thought about and probably have taken for granted.

Both Gibson Linn and Harlon Linn admit that there were some positives to the pandemic. During online school, Gibson Linn said that it was nice to be “getting your work done faster”. Harlon Linn agreed, saying that his favorite change enacted by the pandemic was “getting to finish my work quick on online days”.
When asked “If there was one thing you could pick to have the pandemic not affect, what would it be?”, Gibson Linn responded with “field trips”. Field trips are a huge part of elementary school that most current high school students did not miss because of the pandemic. “I wish it didn’t affect school days,” says Harlon Linn. He wishes every day had been “just a normal school day”.
After figuring out what the question “What would you say to your younger self during the pandemic and why?” meant, they both answered the question thoughtfully. “It’s gonna be over soon,” says Gibson Linn, who believes that despite the long two-year period of safety measures and missing out on things with school, the time has oddly flown. Harlon Linn just chirped, “Don’t get COVID.”
Now that the pandemic is ending, both boys enjoy being able to spend time with their friends again.


Photo by Daphne Linn
Photo by Daphne Linn
Photo by Daphne Linn