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# Peper column: Routines continue to be disrupted as COVID-19 makes a comeback

A high school teacher told me a couple days ago that the students she teaches virtually are not performing as well as those who are physically in class. This teacher instructs about half of her class online, while simultaneously engaging the other half who are in their desks at one of the Lowcountry’s large high schools.

Apparently, those students, with their parents blessing, have opted-out of attending school and log-on when it is time for class to begin, but the image of that student is blocked. This teacher feels certain that some of the students log-on, but then immediately leave and go about their business. The only time the teacher is allowed to visually monitor the students is when it’s time to take a test.

What do you think? Is this still better that sitting at home with a parent trying to explain the Pythagorean theorem or an isosceles triangle?

It’s one more aspect of the impact COVID-19 is having on our culture, as a whole. Will an entire generation of students eventually suffer as a direct off-shoot of this pandemic?

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This teacher is certain her online students are not sufficiently locked-in.

She points to their test scores and to even the questions they ask about the material that’s covered.

#### Making a comeback

This past month has been yet another Corona roller coaster ride for those of us strapped-in. Unfortunately, on a national level, COVID-19 is making a comeback.

As we’ve attempted to find comfort in ritualistic behavior connected to our fondness for college football, it, too, has been thrown for a loss. Barely three weeks into the season, players and coaches are testing positive. Games are being postponed as fans are limited to how many may attend a stadium on a given Saturday.

Even so, we are left to wonder if such close contact between teammates at practice and opposing players during games is worthy of a penalty flag. Have we migrated from unnecessary roughness to unnecessary closeness?

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Everything I read and hear from our experts indicate a resurgence in cases this fall. We’re seeing some of this already in many states, and there’s been an uptick in cases in the Palmetto state, lately, as well.

#### All the trimmings

Some of us are already wondering what the best protocol should be for Thanksgiving this year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is suggesting an outdoor gathering for family members.

The weather in our time zone is certainly conducive for such an activity, but in other parts of the country, that’s not much of an option.

One reason many states are seeing an uptick of infections is blamed on small household gatherings. We’re starting to let our guard down, or in some cases, we’re just tired of dealing with it all.

So where does all this leave us as we wonder how much Halloween candy to buy or how big the Butterball should be?

At this point, we have no choice but to continue to adapt. I probably have four or five face masks in my glove compartment, at the ready, when needed. We continue to order take-out meals and participate in Zoom meetings for book clubs and church meetings.

Our strongest weapons against infection remain in effect: hand washing, wearing face masks, and social distancing.

### Peper column: What we lose when we can't be together in school

My guess is that I’ll probably eat more candy than I’ll give out this Halloween. As for what lies ahead when it’s time to serve the turkey? I suppose I can always run an extension cord to the carving knife.

Reach Warren at peperwarren@gmail.com

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