Note: The sample size of the survey we took regarding communication and the pandemic is small, but the responses show consistent trends
From wearing masks to being required to stay six feet away from one another, the world has been tested on every level on how well people can communicate with each other. Schools are possibly the place most affected by these communication barriers due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Teachers have been forced to teach in ways that they are not accustomed to, and students have been forced to learn in ways they are not used to either.
Three of the most detrimental barriers to communication have been masks, social distancing, and a lack of in-person connection.
In a recent survey The Ghostwriter conducted, over 50 percent of respondents indicated a lack of in-person communication has been the most difficult challenge.
“Lack of in-person communication has been the most difficult because I feel I communicate better with friends in person, rather than on the phone,” sophomore Griffin Conway said. “I feel like wearing masks and being required to social distance has been almost as difficult as [a lack of] in-person communication because I haven’t experienced the same fun times I have had with my friends because of all the limitations.”
Masks have also come among many new challenges such as not being able to read lips or not being able to clearly hear whoever is speaking.
“We lose the ability to read normal body language and facial expressions with masks on,” senior Colton Dyment said.
Although the pandemic has caused these challenges, the pandemic has also clued everyone into each other’s emotions. Wearing masks has taught everyone to read body language which people have seldom paid attention to before, such as looking at someone’s eyes to try to tell if they are smiling or not.
In addition, after the remote/hybrid schedule last year, students are having an easier time communicating now that they are in-person.
“In being remote/hybrid last year, I would say it was pretty difficult to communicate. But as we are now back in-person this school year, I feel pretty comfortable and respected when speaking with others,” sophomore Melissa Paquette said.
Overall, the pandemic has brought many new challenges into everybody’s lives, but has also taught students how to work through adversity and connect with others in ways humanity has never had to before.