Most California schools will be remote this fall. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
Buena Park High School

California to allow schools, gyms, campgrounds and more to reopen

California state guidelines released June 5 will allow schools, gyms, bars, campgrounds and professional sports to reopen with modifications as early as Friday, according to the L.A. Times.

Restaurants, hair salons, churches and retail stores have already been allowed to reopen with specific guidance, according to the L.A. Times.

However, schools may look drastically different when students return. The Associated Press outlined the different precautions that schools may take when students return.

According to AP, California plans to supply schools and child care centers with “no-touch thermometers, hand sanitizer, face shields for every teacher, cloth face coverings for staff and students, and tight-fitting N95 masks for health care professionals in schools.”

Nonetheless, the reopening of schools provokes a myriad of emotions from students.

Senior Nichola Soleta expressed her excitement for being able to re-connect with friends and build stronger emotional support systems.

“I’m most excited about seeing how students unify and interact during an unprecedented time like this. I believe that this pandemic has brought about a greater sense of community,” Soleta said. “I’d love to see students rekindle their friendships and provide unconditional support.”

Sophomore David Lee indicated similar feelings of excitement. However, he also brought up the topic of learning in an in-class environment.

“I’m really excited to see my friends. I have been connecting with them online throughout this quarantine, but there’s something different about meeting face-to-face and talking,” Lee said. “But, I’m also excited to get back in the classroom. Throughout my time with online learning, it’s been kind of difficult to focus because of a variety of factors. When I’m at school, I can focus on my work better.”

In contrast, some students are fearful of potential health concerns when reopening schools.

“With the recent news that our state will be proceeding with physical classes in the fall semester, I feel as if we may suffer repercussions due to the fact that a vaccine for COVID-19 has yet to be discovered. Though the death rates have slowed down, there’s a possibility that a second wave will hit,” Soleta said.

Junior Michelle Yang expressed another concern when reopening schools — mental health.

“I am worried because of my social anxiety and mental health. Having online school did wonders for my mental health and I didn’t interact with anyone for weeks which was amazing for me. I fear my mental state will plummet and my anxiety and stress will skyrocket more than ever,” Yang said.

It is clear that although some students are excited about returning to school. However, California must have official guidelines to reassure those who are wary of the potential physical and mental health dangers.