Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Teens in the Age of COVID-19

By Sam Piha

Many teenagers have been effected by the COVID-19 crisis including the closure of schools and youth programs. But how are they experiencing this crisis and how are they responding? Below are some examples of how teens are coping during this time.

Source: KALW

“tbh” stands for “to be honest “. It is also the name of a podcast on KALW that is made by, about, and for teenagers. And for anybody else who wants to hear what's on their minds.

Source: KALW

Many schools are shut down which leaves tens of thousands of students at home, finding ways to learn, to cope, and to find joy. The teenagers who make “tbh" put together a special edition dedicated to life during the coronavirus crisis.

To listen to the full podcast, click here.

Source: KALW.org

Common Sense Media conducted a poll of teenagers, age 13-17, to gather their experiences of the Coronavirus restrictions. Below we offer the key findings and you can read more here.

  1. Teens are worried about how the coronavirus will affect their families. (61%) Hispanic/Latino teenagers are especially worried about the financial effects: Nearly nine in 10 Hispanic/Latino teens say they're worried about the impact on their family's ability to make a living.
  2. The coronavirus pandemic is making many teens feel lonely. (42%) Girls are more likely than boys to say they feel more lonely than usual (49% vs. 36%).
  3. Texting and social media are providing social outlets for teens
  4. But texting and social media with friends may not be enough. (48%) 
  5. The outbreak is bringing many families together. (40%)
  6. Teens are connecting to others through a variety of means—even phone calls! The top ways to stay connected to people they can no longer see in person are texting (83%), phone calls (72%), social media (66%), and video chats (66%).
  7. The spread of the coronavirus has upended school for teens, with 95% of 13- to 17-year-olds in the U.S. reporting the cancellation of in-person classes at their schools. Black and Hispanic/Latino teens are significantly more likely than White teens to be worried about keeping up with schoolwork. Girls are more likely than boys to say they're worried about keeping up with both schoolwork and extracurriculars.
  8. Many teens aren't connecting with their teachers. 
  9. Finding space to do schoolwork is a challenge for many teens. (28%)
  10. Compared to pre-pandemic times, teens are looking to news organizations for information. (47%)

“Teenagers of color are more likely to say they're worried that they or someone in their family will be exposed to the virus and about the potential economic effect on their family. Hispanic/Latino teenagers are especially worried about the financial effects: Nearly nine in 10 Hispanic/Latino teens say they're worried about the impact on their family's ability to make a living.” - Common Sense Media

(Text by KTVU)

Source: BoredBreadHeads on Instagram
Talia is usually a busy teenager in Oakland, Calif. She plays soccer, studies hard and hangs out with friends. Or at least she used to. Her life looked very different before the coronavirus stay-at-home order was issued three weeks ago, upending her life, along with most of the rest of the country. So she and countless others across the country are turning to one of the few hobbies that hasn't been banned: Baking bread.

"I find it so satisfying," the Oakland Technical High senior said. "I have so much time, and I can wait for the dough to rise."

Locked in her home for much of the day, the 18-year-old's kitchen and culinary feats look extremely professional. She said she watches YouTube videos to help her hone her newfound craft. And she's not alone. She and her friends created a BoredBreadHeads Instagram account, where they are sharing photos of their finished products. So far, they've made bagels, cinnamon buns, focaccia, babka and donuts. Their bio reads: "Sum bored teens during q-time."

Source: BoredBreadHeads on Instagram

Clyde, 18, also of Oakland, was baking long before coronavirus shook his world. But now, he's making his own sourdough starter, pretty much out of necessity. "We didn't have any bread in the house and my parents are really resistant to go to the grocery store," he said. "So, if I wanted to make a sandwich, I had to bake my own bread."

Clyde said he has always loved the scientific wonders of turning a bacteria in the air into something that could be nourishing. But now that process is even more significant. "It just shows that not everything out there in the air is dangerous or contagious," he said.


The Town Kitchen, a catering company located in Oakland, Ca provides youth with culinary training and employment. During this time, they are offering home catering and food delivery. Check them out here.

Source: The Town Kitchen

"We're excited to share some new resources that have been added to our Virtual Resources for Teens document.  Each week, we are going to add additional resources that are teen-specific. This week we added three new topics and resources on VOTING, HISTORY and COLLEGE READINESS. For some teens, this is a good time for them to learn a new skill. There's also resources for mindfulness and mental health, because we know that this is a stressful and unusual time for everyone."

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