Hungry Students vs. Outdoor Lunch


Kira Posner (she/her), Staff Writer

About a month into the new school year, students have had time to adjust to their school routine. Due to the continued threat of Covid-19 at Ida B Wells High School, students have been abiding by the new in-person lunch plan of eating outdoors from 11:39am to 12:14pm.

Students have been pretty good about wearing masks when they aren’t eating, and protecting their peers. “I don’t want to have to do two weeks of quarantine just for eating inside,” said Lucia Donavan (she/her), a sophomore at IBW. “So I kind of like it and that way there’s no worry about some people are eating inside, some people are eating outside.”

They’re permitted to be on and off campus, and now groups of students have spots that they tend to eat at with their friends. They often sit in groups on the turf field, upper grass field, courtyard, around the tennis courts, or smaller spots around campus. Students will go off to the Hillsdale Food Carts and buy lunch, or to other stores like Starbucks, Subway or Pizzicato. 

We’re now in the first week of cold weather and rain, and Principal Filip Hristic announced that students are permitted to eat inside on those days. There are expectations, of course. There are colored dots on the ground in hallways and in the cafeteria where students can sit six feet apart. People are able to eat in the hallways on the middle and top floor of the school, but ideally they’ll still eat outside. Most students still eat outside, but also go into shops around Hillsdale to sit in the heat, or find a dry place indoors. 

Lunch is when students take off their masks, potentially spreading germs, and lose monitoring from teachers or staff that they’d have in the classroom. And not many people have been sitting three feet apart from each other. When students eat indoors, the dots on the floors indicating where to sit and the restricted parts of the school to eat in help  keep kids from coming into close contact. Luckily, whenever the weather permits, students will still be outside where it’s a bit safer to eat together.  

An article in the Oregonian said that PPS is helping out schools who request money for outdoor covers. To keep students safe from Covid, schools can get large outdoor shelters so that they may continue eating outside without getting wet.

Sometimes it can be difficult not having everyone in the same building. It’s hard to meet with friends, have time to eat and make it back to class. Sarah Karout, sophomore, (she/her) said, “It’s just that everyone is so scattered I can never find anyone on time.” She and many others are frustrated with the current situation, “It’ll take me 20 minutes to go find someone who has a completely opposite class as me, and then I’ll have, what? Ten minutes to actually go see them and go back to my class. That’s the main issue I had.” 

Faculty does not have a solid plan for winter and all it brings; Karout explained, “I haven’t been told about any changes but I feel like we’re going to go under some form of cover.” Administrators have announced temporary plans for the next few weeks: they can eat inside if spatially spread out, but most people should still go outside. Students have one thing in common when it comes to weather, “I’d like to stay inside because we’re in Oregon,” says Rohan Kanuri (he/him), sophomore, referring to the rain faced in Portland . It’s hard to tell what the future holds, but for now students are just trying to go with the flow, something they’ve gotten quite good at over the past couple of years.