By RILEY PALSHAW
With social distancing rules in place in Monterey County, Carmel High students have been longing to hang out with their friends, and although the majority of teens seem to be following the guidelines, others continue to go out with their peers, putting them in situations where they need to be creative in order to stay safe.
As summer approaches, all many students can think about is spending time with their friends, so it comes as no surprise that some teenagers are continuing to hang out with each other, even during a global pandemic. Junior Ashyln Rossi has noticed that a lot of her classmates have been treating this like summer vacation, even though they’re still being assigned homework and encouraged to not mingle with others.
Other students feel like they have been robbed of time typically spent with others.
“Honestly my senior year was ruined, so I’m not gonna let this stop me from completely seeing my best friend in the last few months that we have left with each other before we split ways and go to different colleges,” senior Laura Mastrocola says.
Students like Mastrocola want to make up for lost time, but the last thing they want to do while out with their friends is contract the virus, so teenagers have been taking extra precautions to protect their health.
“I do understand that it’s risky right now, but if you’re taking proper precautions like staying six feet away from your friends and not sharing cups and disinfecting surfaces often, I feel like that’s at least a little bit better,” Mastrocola says.
Rossi says, “When I’m with my friends, I keep a safe distance. We are never at each other’s houses. We’re usually out in nature.”
Hanging out in the outdoors seems to offer a solution for many students who want to be with their friends. Freshman Jackson Roby and his friends participate in activities such as surfing, mountain biking and skating when they are together.
Even with all these precautions, this does not stop other students from feeling that these get-togethers are unjust.
“It’s stupid that people aren’t social distancing and spreading the pandemic,” freshman Grace Wang says. “Overall it makes the quarantine longer, and it’s just not worth it.”
Not only do some point out that spending time with friends can be consequential to one’s health, but the behavior may also confirm the recklessness that teenagers are so well known for.
“It definitely frustrates me to see young people breaking quarantine and just affirms stereotypes that the youth is naïve and ignorant,” senior Mia Poletti says.
If people, teens included, do not follow the rules of social distancing, there is a possibility that the shelter-in-place could extend throughout the summer.
“[People hanging out] might risk us having to spend summer in quarantine,” sophomore Emily Chesshire voices, “and for those who have been following the rules it would suck, especially if we could have our summer.”
Students like Chesshire have been following social distancing rules and hope that by doing their part to stop the spread of COVID-19, there may be a chance that they will finally be able to safely spend time with friends this summer. Whether students are following the guidelines right now or not, the end goal is to get back the time with friends they’ve lost.