The Pepperbox

The Student News Site of Arcata High School

The Pepperbox

The Pepperbox

Navigating life and school after an attempt
Navigating life and school after an attempt
Ell Franklin and Anthony Vasek November 3, 2023
“I’ve been focusing more on myself and what I need because I used to be a really bad people pleaser. I’ve always put everyone else first before me.”
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The CCLL Leadership team 

(top row, left to right: Erika Homan, Carolyn van Mantgem, Melanie Zapper, Taylor Nada, Tim Clewell.
bottom row, left to right: Johanna Mauro, Fionn Conroy, Kayla Gaskill)
Hello CCLL!
Taylor Nada, Online Editor • December 7, 2023
This year, the Arcata Arts Institute joined a new program known as the Creative Careers Leadership Lab (CCLL), an organization aimed at helping art students gain skills to succeed in future careers in the arts.  
Pepperbox Broadcast
Pepperbox Broadcast
Rey Barber, Art Director • November 17, 2023
“It’s the first time we’ve ever had a broadcast,” Kloe Bryant said, “so it’s really just testing everything out,”
Difference Between America and Other Countries
Shu Yamashita November 14, 2023
“In Italy, we have just one class and the same classmates, we don’t change classes. We have been in the same class for four years. We have twelve subjects,”
Is study hall really for studying?
Kyndle Eisner, Production Manager • November 14, 2023
“I feel like it’s less strict than last year, but the pass system is stupid and doesn’t work.”

The new Humboldt fog: The brain kind

“I feel like how we feel about COVID is different now.”

It’s been about four years since COVID-19 became an issue here in the United States, enough time for nearly everyone to get it. That includes students and teachers, who report that getting COVID has left them with stress, and brain fog: the inability to concentrate or think straight. And, of course, that it lasts longer than they would like. 

“It took me a while [to recover] like I had to think about things a lot more, even normal tasks like walking,” junior Jolie Gibbs said. 

All of the people interviewed said that they had to think extra hard for a week or two even after they were testing negative. 

A May 2023 article by Scientific American, “The ‘Brain Fog’ of Long Covid is a Serious Medical Issue That Needs More Attention” explains that a number of studies have shown that the prevalence of memory disruption continues in about 46 percent of people who are longer infected with SAR-CoV-2. 

“It’s crazy how much a short amount of time can set you behind,” senior Nola Bachemin said.

This can become an extra challenge when dealing with school-related things on top of catching up on all the tasks or assignments you may have missed. 

“I definitely felt like I had some lingering brain fog . . . [and I wasn’t] quite as organized as I would like to be,” Johanna Mauro, a teacher at Arcata High School who got COVID at the very beginning of the school year, said. 

“It was very horrifying to me as a teacher who cares about setting up my classroom properly, to not be able to be there,” Mauro said.

Although most teachers are willing to give students extra time for missed assignments, it doesn’t mean that making up that time is an easy task. 

Gibbs explained that when she got back to school, it was difficult to deal with “the stress of missing so much stuff,” and “getting back to the social [aspect of things].”

Bachemin, who got COVID in the spring of 2020, explained that getting COVID-19 severely affected her grades. 

“It was because of all the quizzes I had and I couldn’t make up before the end of the term,” Bachemin said.

Bachemin also mentioned how difficult it was to not have a choice to come back to school until she tested negative.

“Even if I tested negative [the school was] like, ‘It hasn’t been two weeks,’ like I’m not gonna stay out of school for two weeks.” 

Despite the recent rollback on regulations for COVID-19 prevention, it is still causing problems. Of the 50 people I talked to at AHS, 60% said that they or someone they knew had gotten COVID within the last two months. But maybe it isn’t all that bad.

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