‘I Was a Little Scared’: Inside America’s Reopening Schools

In his orchestra class, where Peter plays the cello, the chairs are spaced six feet apart. And there is no band or chorus: Wind instruments and singing could spread infection.

When the pandemic hit, Peter’s mother, a former science teacher, made masks for health care workers. “My mom and my dad, they’ve been stressing about how careful I need to be with this,” Peter said. So he washes his hands between every other class, and before and after eating. “We’re taking this very seriously.”

On her second day of quarantine on Thursday, Kennedy said that she was feeling fatigued but that her case did not seem as bad as others she has heard about.

“I was a little scared” after getting the results on Wednesday, she said.

At least three or four other students she knows of have also tested positive at the school, she said, but she is not sure how she might have been infected — or if she could have infected anyone else.

“It came out of nowhere, and I don’t know who else I was around,” she said. She went to volleyball practice the week before starting school, but no one came within six feet of her, she said.

She also diligently wore her mask during her two days at school, she said, except while at lunch when eating. Whenever she tucked her mask beneath her nose, she would make sure others were not nearby.

Kennedy’s mother, Liz Wright, also started school last week — she is a second-grade teacher. Her school remains open even while the high school is closed for the week, with the students distance learning.

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