🏠😷🦠 Life As A QuaranTEEN 🦠😷🏠 The UnifiEd Student Voice Team Blog Surrounding COVID-19 and the Associated School Closure
On Sunday night and Monday morning, Chattanooga was one of many cities that were sadly in the damaging path of a tornado. It left behind debris, injuries, and emotional scars that will never heal...
I’m thankful that my Red Bank community wasn’t as severely affected as other areas but I was still deeply concerned. Trying to get back into “the groove of things” on Monday morning was the hardest task I've had to do in a while. You could have asked me to pick up a boulder or swim through quick sand and I would have had the same reaction. I know I sound dramatic but in all honesty it was a struggle to gain the energy to do class assignments all of a sudden when usually I would have been lounging around. It was also hard to focus in general just because of the news about the devastation. My entire news feed was flooded with pictures of damages to houses, fallen trees, and ruined property. I’m lucky that my area didn’t have too much damage. We got the news later on in the day that Hamilton County would delay assignments for three days to give students some time to adjust to the changes. This didn’t seem like enough time for students to adapt to these conditions. While I’m able to adjust fairly well, my friends who live in other areas had power outages and no service. Fast forward to Thursday, I still haven’t even looked at the boat load of assignments that have been dropped in google classroom. Honestly, I don’t know how I’m going to perform as a student if this persists. I am concerned to say the least.
Other students in Hamilton County have experienced similar stories to mine. One student, from CCA, had a moving response to our question on Instagram, “How has the recent weather affected you as a student?” Trinity wrote the following:
“On Sunday night, our city was hit by severe weather. While I am so fortunate to have not been physically hit by the storm, it definitely impacted me in a big way. Part of going to a magnet school is having the blessing of being friends with people all over the county. Not knowing whether or not friends and even acquaintances were okay left me so anxious on that Sunday night that I couldn't sleep. In a way, that was affecting my school work and ability to even think about invasive species long enough to finish that assignment I had been putting off all week. Fortunately, all my teachers except one haven't assigned any new work, which has been nice to see because I know some of my classmates are still without internet and/or power. I had never thought that our area would be hit by a tornado, and most definitely not during a worldwide pandemic. These crazy times are just really draining mentally for everyone, and I think that schoolwork is one of those things that both helps keep me sane right now, but also stresses me out too. I'm hopeful that things will return to somewhat closer to normal soon, at least to what normal was before the severe weather.”
This seems like a common trend among students. Whether they were physically affected by the tornado or not, the mental state of students across the board was undoubtedly shaken. I cannot begin to even imagine the emotional toll this has taken on students and families that live in the East Brainerd area and other places that were in the path of the tornado. I can only say that it is our job as privileged students and civilians, who have a place to live, to do our part as Chattanoogans. There are many volunteering opportunities to be on the lookout for such as United Way’s volunteering efforts with food banks, or locals who are handing out water bottles and offering free labor to help clean up damaged areas. Chattanooga has seen a lot of devastation in the past few years but the community members of this city never fail to amaze me in the way they can rally together to help complete strangers. This gives me a promising future to look forward to as we move past these surreal events, slowly but surely.