Lightsabers and a little loneliness: How Hburg kids have been coping with the pandemic

Editor’s note: The Citizen has covered the pandemic’s effects on Harrisonburg from many angles — how it has afflicted those who have had the virus, slammed local businesses, impacted city finances — even how it’s changed the way we interact. But we’ve mostly covered adults’ points of view and wanted to know how kids in the community have been affected. So we commissioned a student contributor to find out.

By Latham Copeland, student contributor

Hello, my name is Latham. I’m 8 years old and a 2nd grader at Bluestone Elementary. I like Star Wars and Pokemon. My favorite color is GOLD. I wrote this so older people know how it feels to be a kid during Covid. I interviewed some of my friends. 

I felt bad about COVID-19 because I miss playing soccer at school with my friends.

Donovan, a 2nd grader from Bluestone Elementary, says he doesn’t like that we cannot see each other at school. Chloe, a 2nd grader from Peakview Elementary, says she hates COVID and misses school. Sarah, a senior from Harrisonburg High School, misses her friends but likes the extra sleep. Emma, a 6th grader from Skyline Middle School, said COVID is a little annoying. Gwendolyn, a pre-k kid and my sister, said she feels bad because she wants to be in buildings with her friends.

I have been reading and playing Harry Potter with Gwendolyn. Donovan has been playing baseball and having lightsaber battles. Chloe has been writing a lot. Sara has been writing a book. Lily, a senior from Eastern Mennonite School, has been watching lots of Netflix and Hulu and doing some sewing. Felix, a kindergartener from Spotswood Elementary, has been playing outside. Wystan, a 2nd grader from Spotswood Elementary, has been making new board games. Emma has been reading new books and spending time with her dog outside. Gwendolyn likes to play Harry Potter with her big brother Latham. I’m Latham.

I’ve liked eating buttered noodles. Lily likes Chick-fil-A. Felix and Donovan like pizza. Wystan likes cinnamon buns from his school. Chloe likes homemade jam. Sara likes homegrown lettuce and fancy popcorn. Gwendolyn said her favorite food is milkshakes.

The biggest change since COVID for me, was not getting to play with my friends. Donovan says the biggest change is we haven’t been together. Lily says the biggest change has been balancing school and work. Felix said not going to school. Wystan said picking up school packets. Emma said not seeing friends in person, and not being able to give them a hug. Chloe said that she misses writing and drawing at school and not seeing friends at school.

When COVID is done, Donovan hopes to go to the beach. Lily is excited to go to college and is excited to see her friend Molly and hopefully do some swimming with her family. Wystan is excited to go to the pool. Felix is excited to play with friends. Emma is excited to give her friends big hugs and go back to school. Gwendolyn is excited to start kindergarten at Bluestone. I can’t wait to play soccer with my friends and go to third grade. I want to have playdates and birthday parties with my friends. I didn’t get a birthday party this year with my friends but I did get four lightsabers—two Kylo Ren and two others.

Thank you for reading my newspaper article in the Harrisonburg Citizen newspaper. And thank you to all the people who wrote answers and gave interviews. MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU!

Journalism is changing, and that’s why The Citizen is here. We’re independent. We’re local. We pay our contributors, and the money you give goes directly to the reporting. No overhead. No printing costs. Just facts, stories and context. Thanks for your support.

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