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More than three months into the pandemic, seven East Bay high school students reflect on the impact the pandemic has had on their daily lives and discuss how the current state of the world has shaped their views.

Eshal Sandhu

Age: 15

Hometown: San Ramon

High school: Dougherty Valley 

 “Despite all the barriers that the pandemic and quarantine have created, I was able to rediscover my previous passion for art. I’ve been spending my days painting the things I love: various landscapes, album covers,  favorite foods, and so much more. I’m very hopeful that my life will soon somewhat return to how it used to be, but even if that isn’t coming anytime soon, at least I have a new hobby to keep me smiling through the days.”

Anika Tindall

Age: 17

Hometown: San Ramon 

High school: Dougherty Valley

“I have been working twice as many hours at Chick-Fil-A as I did before the pandemic began. I also send some money I earn to my extended family in the Philippines, as their country has been on the longest lockdown in the world, so they don’t have work to earn money to buy food.”

Charles Gu 

Age: 15 

Hometown: Danville 

High school: Monte Vista 

“The pandemic has made me realize how much of our lives are built on social interaction. Whether it be hanging with friends, going to [debate] competitions or even getting a haircut (much needed), it’s sometimes easy to take for granted the neighbors we wave to on our daily walks, the faces we see at the grocery store and the individuals we cherish our time with. Hopefully, after this pandemic ends, we’ll all be a bit more thankful for one another.”

Twisha Chawla 

Age: 16 

Hometown: San Ramon 

High school: Dougherty Valley 

“I think during school all of us are extremely busy. We don’t get the time to explore our community and really take a look at where we live. During quarantine I’ve been watching sunsets, exploring San Ramon and, overall, just appreciating nature. I think it is a great time to explore your community, but obviously be safe!”

Sarisha Sabhlok

Age: 16 

Hometown: San Ramon 

High school: Dougherty Valley 

“In response to recent social and political events, specifically the Black Lives Matter movement, I have been actively educating myself. I have signed petitions and donated as much as I can. I believe that as Americans, we should all be exercising our freedom of speech, and speak up for those who have been oppressed.”

Owen Spargo 

Age: 16 

Hometown: San Ramon 

High school: Dougherty Valley 

“During my free time, my family and I like to hike and discover new trails we have never been to. It helps us get fresh air, while keeping us safe.”

Sydney Lu

Age: 16

Hometown: Pleasanton

High school: Quarry Lane School

“As an athlete, quarantine has definitely presented many challenges, but it has also deepened my appreciation for my coach and teammates. I’ve learned to set a daily schedule and make goals to stay on track. It’s easy to dwell on negativity but I’ve tried to focus on positive things and control the controllable. I’m not sure how effective that is but it certainly makes me a happier person.”