Emily Ho and Science Olympiad cannot compete with COVID-19

Filled with exciting opportunities, Emily Ho’s, junior, second semester is not turning out as expected. “The pandemic has closed basically all of my extracurriculars. I can’t go to state for [Science Olympiad], go to my internship, finish my [Girl Scouts’] gold award or attend any school clubs,” Ho said.

As president of Science Olympiad, Ho had led her team through an intense year of preparation for the annual Science Olympiad competition at UCSB. This year, the team was able to place first in the regional tournament, something that has not happened in four years.

“We heard the state comp would be cancelled the morning of our regional tournament, before our competition even started and before we knew we would do so well, so we all just laughed and treated it like a meme. It did make the tournament feel less stressful, but after getting first overall, we were simultaneously overjoyed with the victory and …disappointed at the lost opportunity,” Ho said. 

Despite these lost opportunities, cancelling school means that Ho is able to regenerate from her demanding IB classes. “[I felt] relief because I was really stressed out at the time and needed a break from school,” Ho said. Additionally, she is able to keep herself healthy, something that her busy schedule did not always allow for. “My sleep schedule has completely screwed over, but unlike when there was school, I can now get eight hours of sleep,” Ho said.

While this is a hard time for many in the community, Ho still emphasizes the importance of social distancing. “Quarantine is an important step to combatting the pandemic, especially since our country lacks the resources to otherwise handle the virus, and we should listen to anything our science and health officials tell us,” Ho said.