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#RepairTheWorldWednesday with COVID-TV

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Covid-TV: Connecting Teens Around the World During the Pandemic

As freshmen this year, learning that school would be cancelled for the rest of the year seemed like the end of the world to us. We had just gotten the hang of high school. We were making new friends, learning how to adjust to the amount of work we had, and finally starting to enjoy the year. But in a split second everything changed. School was cancelled, social distancing orders were placed, and no end date was in sight. We felt isolated and alone, and like no one knew what we were going through. But then we realized something. Teenagers around the world were experiencing the exact same thing as us, whether they lived in Chicago, California, or even India and Israel. We may have lost the in-person connection we used to receive at school, but we could still create some kind of connection to other teenagers around the world from our own homes. 

This is why we, Lauren Tapper and Krishita Dutta, created Covid-TV, the blog connecting teenagers from 7 different countries during the Coronavirus pandemic. Covid-TV first started out as a blog and forum that allowed teens to read and submit blog posts about their experiences in quarantine. This ranged from fun recipes to try, how they are adjusting to quarantine and online school, to even how teens were dealing with the fear and loss that came with the Coronavirus pandemic. Teens can even directly connect to others from around the world on our forum. 

But as Covid-TV grew, we realized that with a growing audience we wanted to do something more. Although quarantine was extremely challenging for us, the impacts of Covid-19 could be detrimental to some other communities. This is when we started the Community Projects page. Here we have other teenagers become ambassadors for one of our four projects: Food For All, Make-A-Mask, Support the Unemployed, and Speak Up. So far our ambassadors have raised over $14,000 for community efforts like No Kid Hungry or the Greater Chicago Covid-19 Response Fund, sewed more than 16,000 masks for hospitals and community centers, and written multiple state legislatures advocating for changes to address the pandemic. We wanted to show other teens that we have the power to help others during this pandemic, even though we may have to be at home. These projects are also empowering. It is incredible to see how teenagers have been able to take initiative and raise so much money, contact state officials, and sew so many masks. We may be young, but we have the power to change the world.

We have also tried to include social justice and advocating for equality on our site. We created an Editorials page, where we publish teen written articles about different social justice issues that are not gaining as much traction due to the pandemic. Some of these are the closing of abortion clinics around the U.S due to the need to Covid-19 treatment centers, the racial inequalities in health care and access to Covid-19 tests, and unfair food stamp procedures. 

Overall, we hope the Covid-TV is able to provide a sense of connection to teenagers during the Coronavirus pandemic. We understand how hard it is being separated, and hope that Covid-TV can make sure teens know that they are not alone, and can even make an impact on their communities during this time.

COVID-TV

Lauren is 14 years old and an upcoming sophomore at the University of Chicago Lab Schools. She is a member of her temple’s youth board, an assistant teacher at her temple’s religious school, and the co-founder of COVID-TV. At school she helped start the Jewish Students Association, and is a member of the Model UN team. In her free time she enjoys reading, hiking, hanging out with friends.

 

Krishita is a fifteen year old upcoming sophomore at the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools. She works as a media director at the non-profit Circle of Hope Chicago (AIF), a reporter at her high-school’s newspaper, and the co-founder of COVID-TV. In her free time, she enjoys painting, reading, writing for local newspapers, and spending time with her friends.

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