How Are School Bus Drivers Coping with COVID Right Now?

It is a tough time of social isolation

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Olivia Sinkevitch, Writer

There’s no doubt that the recent outbreak of the flu-like virus COVID-19, and by result its mandatory quarantine, has affected us all, whether it be in our academic, business, or personal lives. With COVID hitting especially hard in the United States, American schools remain closed with distance learning in effect, keeping students at home with Zoom meetings and Google Classroom assignments. The jobs of our educators have also been adapted to distance learning through digital worksheets and making connections with students through emails. However, there are some with jobs that are not as easily translated into the digital world. While teachers, students, and our Cougar counselors remain busy during this pandemic, certain questions arise about other faculty members – such as janitors, security, and others, and that is “how has COVID affected them?” 

One group of people that rely on the world being open to perform their job is our bus drivers. Bus driving is an essential part of public schools as it serves as a convenient way to transport our students to our schools. However, with student populations staying in their homes travel-free this school year, how have our transporters’ lives changed in the last five months? When asked about affected life during the pandemic, Apple Valley School District bus driver Mr. Jason said, “We miss our routine, talking to our kids…”. Miss Sherri, who also provides bus driving services for our Apple Valley schools stated, “Since we don’t have extended family living near us, our coworkers were the closest thing we had to them, and we just don’t have the ability to talk with them at the moment.” 

During isolation in our homes, it can be difficult for one to find a sense of community and togetherness, especially when that is a part of your job. This is why it’s important that we work as a community together to overcome these trying times. It’s safe to say that the issues of  missing our normal lives and the routines that went along with them is a popular attitude to hold nowadays, and it seems to be no different with people in every part of our community. At the end of the day, the struggles of every member of our community serve as a warming reminder that we are, in fact, not alone in this unprecedentedly influential pandemic, and that we are all hoping for the same reality in which we return to our normal lives.