A Socially Distanced Cafeteria

By: Ruthie Saylor

This new year is full of all new obstacles and challenges. One of these is the social distancing policies in the lunch room. In this new year all students must socially distance in the cafeteria. This is because of the Covid-19 outbreak last spring. The whole student body wears  masks and tries their best to socially distance themselves. They have to sit one seat away from each other. There are kids that sit at desks on the stage of the auditorium. After they are finished eating, they dump their trays. Then they go and sit in the auditorium. Those students also have to sit at least one seat away from each other. 

When asked if it was hard to adjust to the change in the cafeteria, freshman Denisha Fessler responded with, ”Yes, because I like to sit close to people.” When a teacher was asked the same question, Joe Frederick said, “It is an adjustment because the kids have phones. Maybe that’s a good thing because if they are distanced [without electronics] it would be harder for them to stay apart. Technology has really helped with this situation.” 

One thing many people overlook is the work the lunch ladies put in to keep the children safe. There are also new rules while gathering food. There are places roped off so that students don’t touch the pizza because it is not wrapped. The lunch ladies hand out food differently too. When asked if this made her job harder Renae Vanaelstyn said, “Yes, in every aspect of it. Preparing food is much harder, because [fruits and vegetables] have to go in containers, and you can’t grab your own pizza.” The fruits and vegetables are not allowed to be touched unless you intend to eat them, meaning you can’t pick it up then put it back. This is so that they don’t touch it and set it back down and potentially infect other students. The lunch ladies are working very hard to keep all of the students buying lunch safe. They have to clean things more. Dawn Blair says, “I take this whole machine [dishwasher] and we clean it … We clean the machine with delimer.”

Times like these call for change to keep us safe. Students must also wear masks when they are not eating and while sitting in the auditorium. The students must wait and sit until the bell rings. The teachers watch from the front of the auditorium to make sure no one violates the guidelines. These teachers keep the students safe to the best of their abilities. Students try their best to follow the rules, and students are taking it very well for this first marking period. Joe Frederick said, “The kids are doing real good with it.”

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