Features Magazine News Volume 69, Issue 7

Las Lomas Alumni Reactions to COVID-19

Graphic by Zeyada Negasi

Many businesses, schools, and lives have been upended and canceled by the coronavirus, or COVID-19, as Las Lomas High School moved to online learning on March 13th, and a shelter-in-place order was placed over Contra Costa County three days later, on March 16th. However, before the alarm was raised in the East Bay, many universities and colleges had already started the transition to online learning, canceling future events and sending students home.

At Loyola Marymount University (LMU) in Los Angeles, students were on spring break the week of March 8th, when their classes were canceled and moved online, and students were strongly encouraged not to go back to LA. Simone Millan, a Las Lomas alumnus who now attends Loyola, traveled back to Walnut Creek for spring break but ended up staying after the announcement. “Being home [and doing school] has been interesting…I feel like I’m going to DVC,” Millan responded when asked about how she was settling into online classes. “We [the students] wanted them [school administration] to hold off [going to online learning], but we understood why they canceled it so early…It’s disappointing, but it needed to happen.” She added. “They handled it all pretty well, considering.”

Up in Oregon, at the University of Portland, classes were moved to online, and students were ordered to move out five days after the school announced their move online. CJ Cabungal, a Las Lomas alumnus who now attends the University of Portland, traveled back to Walnut Creek after being ordered to move out of her dorm on March 17th. In Portland, students got the notice that they would be moving to online learning on March 12th, that they would have to move out by the 17th and that they would start video-chat classes the next day. “A lot of [the professors] don’t have a lot of experience teaching on an online platform…If they have adequate training [in how to teach online], they basically just give lectures,” Cabungal said.