Covid-19 created a new ‘normal’ for all


The Laguna Beach Police Department has sent out this helpful Stay Home Order Guide. It helps clarify some things that can be done during these troubling times. (Photo Credit: LB Police Department)

Diego Lapayese-Calderón, News Editor

The 2019 Novel Coronavirus, or most commonly referred to as “Covid-19” or “the coronavirus,” has been directly affecting life in Laguna Beach. Prior to school closures, LBUSD did its part in following the guidance of the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), such as posting instructions on hand washing in all of the school bathrooms and locker rooms and requiring custodial crews to adopt more rigid disinfecting procedures. 

However, on Friday, March 13, the Board of Education met in an emergency meeting at 2:00 p.m. and ruled 4-1 to grant the Superintendent Dr. Jason Viloria the authority to take any steps to ensure the safety of all students in the LBUSD. Viloria then decided that it was best to keep students away from school, which would reduce the spread of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus. All public schools closed to students on that date. 

Viloria released in a letter to the community that school would be shut down until after Spring Break. He would not have made the decision without support from the OC Health Care Agency and guidance from the California Department and Orange County Department of Education.

It was later agreed that, because the Governor of California announced the high likelihood of shutting down schools for the rest of the year, all schools in the LBUSD would likely be closed for the rest of the year. That means all student-related activities have been canceled, and the online learning that had been set in place has been extended. It is still not certain at this time what will happen with final exams or graduation. 

The stress does not stop at the more than 1,500 confirmed cases in Orange County. Greater stress falls onto AP students, who have their exams in early May and now have their scheduled review time in class. Rather than having their traditional test they have been preparing for all year, AP students now face a quick, 45-minute exam and must adapt quickly to the change.

The SAT and SAT Subject Tests have also been delayed, with the SAT being canceled until June. Colleges are already sending out notifications that the junior class this year may not need to apply to college with a score for the SAT and ACT, and any student who was unable to take the test will not be seen as less than a student who can present the score during college admissions. The following is a link to the College Board Covid-19 Updates page:

Sports have also been canceled, and all student athletes are receiving instructions from their coaches or the athletic director on what to do in the meantime. 

The Governor of California recently issued a declaration that California would be in lockdown, and he gave procedures to the public to stay inside unless absolutely necessary. Then the Executive Branch of the U.S. Government extended the quarantine to April 30. 

As hard as it may be to stay indoors and lose the opportunity to attend school in person, Covid-19 is not something to take lightly. In order to keep everyone safe and prepare our communities for a return to regular life, every individual must acknowledge their duty to follow all laws and guidelines to keep Covid-19 from spreading.