Bubble Buddies


Tillie Berge

DESTINATION: ISOLATION. The loneliness of March’s quarantine is almost too painful to remember. However, we have found a safe silver-lining around the cloud that is quarantine. What is it? As you may be wondering, the answer is learning in pods! This keeps you safe, because you are isolating yourself in a group of people, but also provides a solution to the boredom we have faced.

   We are all familiar with the feeling of being quarantined. As we are inching closer to our remote learning week, I am beginning to remember the feeling of absolute lockdown. I can smell the whipped coffee and baked goods that were a necessity in my house. I can hear “Tiger King” playing in the background, and reminisce about sitting in my pajamas while talking to my friends on Zoom calls. But, the main feeling I don’t want to come back is the feeling of isolation.

   Being alone, all day, every day, is horrible, and after living through ultimate loneliness for six months, we have learned ways around the somewhat inevitable feeling. One of those ways is pod learning.

   While some have been in school, around people every day, others are experimenting with virtual pod learning. Learning in pods is when a group of people gets together to do their own virtual classes from the same school in the same room. 

   There are many benefits of pod learning. For example, it fixes the boredom and isolation students feel when they are doing online school by themselves. As soon as you log out of your Google meet, you are by yourself. Pod learning fixes this because you can chat with your friends in between classes and eat lunch with people, almost like regular school. 

   Though “our ability to physically move around is limited by social distancing, it’s still possible to create diversity in the experiences that are in your control,” said Dr. Aaron Heller, a clinical psychologist and effective neuroscientist at University of Miami, in an interview with CNBC.

   It would most likely be a rotation of houses with all of the people going to a different house every day, with the same group of friends. Of course, the most prominent concern is health and safety, as this “off week” is meant to reduce the spread of COVID-19. However, this is the safest way to do virtual learning with friends. You all “quarantine” together and only socialize amongst yourselves. You are essentially, “bubble buddies” (people who quarantine together).

   Not only is this COVID friendly and a social opportunity, but it is also valuable motivation and can create a change in scenery. Everyone will deny it, but did you really get up out of bed and change out of your pajamas to do virtual school? I know while sometimes I was in a productive mood, a lot of the time I stayed in bed while listening to my teachers. 

   This is a bad habit to start, and pod learning provides the motivation we need to get up out of bed, get ready for the day, move around, get a change in scenery, and do work when we otherwise might not have the energy for it. Audrey Thomas, 9 said, “You won’t get distracted by being in the same, boring, scenery.” Being around friends in a different space, prompts you to get your work done like everyone else.

    So, consider learning virtually in pods for this virtual week.