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4. Five Months with an Astounding Change 6. ThunderRidge Sports Closed for the Season 8. Social Norms at an All-Time Low 10. It Ruined My Senior Year: Opinion 12. Riding the Storm: Colorado’s Economy 14. Differing Opinions: Millennials vs Boomers 16. It’s My Life: A Look Into a Day of A Senior 17. A Sad Goodbye 18. It Only Takes One!

Staff and students: We all thought that 2020 was going to be a great year. Graduation, prom, hanging out with friends, and so much more. But it was robbed from us, all due to this virus. We don’t understand why and now we are stuck in our own homes working on school through computers and talking to our friends through our phones. We don’t deserve this, but sadly it is what we are having to go through for a while. While on quarantine, the newspaper team has decided to bring you an issue about the Coronavirus. The image below shows friends hanging out — while following social distancing guidelines. Remember to keep a 6-foot distance when you’re with other people. Staff Editor-in-chief Jordan Lear Art Director Maddy Stadler

Photographers/Graphics McKenna Frakes Ally Stadler Sierra Martinez

Reporters Michale Reyes Lilly Moats Carter Brockbank Malory Travis Carson Shea Jack Ryan

Cover photo of a highlands Ranch road by McKenna Frakes Table of Contents PHOTO illustration BY JORDAN LEAR


May 7, 2020

Five MONTHS WITH AN ASTOUNDING CHANGE Jordan Lear We are in the fifth month of the global pandemic, COVID-19. While our minds stay focused on its impacts on us, the largest difference is on the environment. While its impact on humanity is clear, its impact on the environment is less black and white. Let’s start globally, and focus on our beloved community. It began in Wuhan, China, in December of 2019. In February of 2020, NASA scientists released a statement saying that, “the reduction in NO2 pollution was first apparent near Wuhan, but eventually spread across the country. Millions of people have been quarantined in one of the largest such actions in human history.” This change has been seen worldwide as airplane companies, oil companies and entertainment companies buckle under the pressure. Their impact on the environment has decreased significantly in the past months as stay-at-home orders have been issued. According to the BBC, “emissions of carbon monoxide, mainly due to cars and trucks, have fallen by around 50%.” Looking at the United States, emissions levels are down as well. However, one thing is on people’s mind: Will it last? Simply put, no, unless governments and local authorities change to become greener. While it is easy to keep it low at the moment, once quarantine finishes, the emissions level will skyrocket to the previous normal level or even higher. “Because transportation is the single biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, and

McKenna Frakes because passenger vehicles account for about 60 percent of these emissions, the short-term effect on the nation’s carbon footprint could be significant,” says author Madeleine Stone, of the National Geographic Magazine. Long-term effects are less certain, due to the human factor. Another positive factor is the lack of humans in ecosystems. The beaches of Florida now have endangered sea turtles, which haven’t been present in years. There is no saying how long they will be able to remain on these beaches as stay-at-home orders are lifted. In Colorado itself, many of its National Parks are closed to an extent. This is to limit the amount of people isolated in one place. While the physical buildings are closed in the parks, the land itself is still open and people can come as they please. Since Colorado’s atmosphere is less than neighboring states, the amount of pollution trapped is more extreme. With the stay-athome order still in place, air pollution has been minimized to an extent. COVID-19 will never go away, its impacts will always be a shadow. But if we try, the good, short-term impacts can become long-term impacts that will affect generations to come. The environment was always an issue, and now, because of the virus, it has brought attention to this long lasting problem in society. Neighborhood streets are empty, with no cars driving on them. Ever since the Stay-at-Home order, not many people have been driving around.


May 7, 2020

THUNDERRIDGE SPORTS closed for the season Lilly Moats

Lilly Moats & Sierra Martinez

The Growl interviewed two ThunderRidge athletes, siblings, to determine how the school closure has affected them. Name: Vince Byrne Sport & Position: Catcher for Baseball (Varsity) What were your first thoughts when you learned sports were postponed? I was pretty upset at first, because we were supposed to play our first game on the day it was postponed. How has not participating in sports changed your daily habits and or schedule? I still work out and practice on my own. But I can’t practice with my team and coaches.

ThunderRidge High School looks like it is deserted, with no students on campus. Photo taken by Sierra Martinez in the fall of 2019.

Name: Josie Byrne Sport & Position: Cross Country, Basketball, Shot put and discus for track What were your first thoughts when you learned sports were postponed? I was really annoyed and mad, especially because the day they first canceled was our first JV meet. The coaches were going to have me throw in the varsity meet that weekend, so I was annoyed we couldn’t play sports. How has not participating in sports changed your daily habits and or schedule? I am definitely not working out as much. For throwing, Mondays and Wednesdays were weight room days, and I had strength class Tuesday, Thursday and Fridays. I was lifting every day, but I cannot do that now because the rec centers have shut down and sports have been postponed.


May 7, 2020


social norms at an all time low Malory Travis & Carter Brockbank

Maddy Stadler & McKenna Frakes

COVID-19 is a pandemic that is currently affecting people all over the world. From social distancing to stay at home orders, this virus has genuinely affected how people interact and hang out during this time. All Douglas County schools were originally scheduled to take to online schooling for a week after spring break. Many students were excited about the prospect of staying at home for another week and not having to go to school but when social distancing orders were put into place that changed. “I was really happy at first. Staying home for an extra week? That sounds amazing! Now I am just bored,” said sophomore Millie Rowe. The social distancing order has changed how everyone lives, but especially teens that are so used to hanging around their friends nearly 24/7. Now it is a challenge to go out with friends as most places are shut down completely and people are not really supposed to be leaving the house, even if they do they are being told to keep 6 feet away from each other. But that will not stop students from having fun with their friends. “My friends and I have been face-timing or using Zoom a lot throughout the day. We also have done a tailgate party so we can still hang out in person, but keep social distancing. It sucks because we love to go to movies or the mall and now we can’t,” says senior Jordan Lear. Many students have taken it upon themselves to create Zoom classes with their friends or even post Zoom meeting codes to different social media platforms in hopes of making some friends and finding entertainment.

EFFECTS ON EDUCATION ACROSS THE COUNTRY In Boston, students have a set time to meet with their teacher and go through a lesson. This means they have to keep a school schedule and can’t slack off during this epidemic.

A difference comes down to how teachers work. Some will give the work right at the beginning of the week and have it there for the rest until Friday. While others will give you small assignments throughout the week in intervals such as Monday and Wednesday. This comes down to personal preference for the teachers.

In some Wisconsin Schools the Seniors there have already graduated and are now out of school.

This photo to the right by McKenna Frakes, shows that even at the grocery store, distancing is important. Shelves are bare, and shoppers are asked to keep 6 feet apart.

May 7, 2020


it ruined my senior year: Opinions from seniors on The growl Maddy Stadler & Jordan Lear & McKenna Frakes


McKenna Frakes

With this current pandemic, everything has been really crazy at my house between my family and I. I love my family— don’t get me wrong — but when you are having to be in the house with them 24/7, it gets pretty annoying. It is especially hard when my 3-year-old little sister wants my attention when I am trying to do school work. This has also affected me and my friends because we can’t really see each other during all this. We either have to Facetime or text to stay connected. It also affects my classes; producing this magazine was hard to do because it was difficult getting interviews and talking with other staff members. This is a huge thing that is affecting my life, and it is just difficult to finish senior year off strongly. But with all the staff and teachers emailing us and making sure we are all doing all right, it is very encouraging, and it helps us to keep going. Being able to see and talk to old friends during class calls is nice. And with all the support from random people decorating doors and leaving encouraging letters, this is becoming easier for me.

A NOTE FROM THE EDITOR: JORDAN LEAR We are going to get through this together. You are loved. You are stronger than this virus. You are so much more than you think. We will come out of this stronger and more united than ever before. We are living through uncertain times, but I know with faith, we will have victory over this war we are fighting. Don’t fight one

JORDAN LEAR Life’s crazy. We have all had to adapt in different ways, but I think we can all agree that the transition from daily school to online was rough. Some classes just aren’t meant to be taken online— but that’s ok. We have such a wonderful teaching staff. Thankfully, my family have been so supportive of my sister and I. Being stuck in the house everyday sucks — that’s obvious. My friends and I hang out all the time, but because of this we can’t. Though there are more negatives than positives, I can say that a positive for me is that I can be outdoors a lot more. Since I’m leaving for Nebraska in August, I’m trying to get as much hiking and outdoors activities done. So far, because of the quarantine I can do just that. Though my senior year was ruined, I can say proudly that I am stronger than before. Thank you, ThunderRidge, for your help and support these past four years. Once a Grizzly, always a Grizzly.


The coronavirus has made a huge impact on my life not only physically, but mentally as well. I no longer get to have the best part of my senior year, I get no prom and there is a small chance of me actually getting a graduation ceremony. So when all these announcements came out, I felt like my whole world was crushed and over. I was sad and angry. But truly how is this affecting me personally? I can’t hang out with my friends anymore or for long periods of time. So I really miss getting to laugh with them. We used to be so close and now I feel like we struggle to find time to hang out. Communication with others is hard, since we can really only text and FaceTime. My family is all at home and I have no place to go other than my room. I feel like everyday is the same as the one before it. I FaceTime almost every other day and on the weekends with my extended family, and we have a happy hour and just talk and chat for a while. I think this has been a big eye opener for me personally. I’ve been able to help my community more, and I appreciate what’s in front of me so I am able to love in the moment. I wish life would go back to our normal, but life for me hasn’t really ever been normal, so I think that’s helped me a lot to cope with this situation.

another, instead support everyone in any decision that they chose to make. Text a friend, make masks for shelters, write ‘thank you’ notes to first responders or do something so that in the future, and we can reflect upon this event we remember the positive impacts that we had: no matter how big or small it was.


May 7, 2020

riding the storm: Colorado economy Michael Reyes Currently, the United States is starting to come out of lockdown, as stay-at-home orders that were enacted in fear of COVID-19 begin to life. But Highlands Ranch was not spared from these orders; movie theaters, select restaurants, barber shops, etc. were forced to close down in order to slow the spread of the virus. Meanwhile other sites, like grocery stores, banks, and pharmacies, remained open under strict restrictions, because they are deemed essential businesses, which help to maintain a community’s local infrastructure. Hundreds of thousands of schools across the country have been shut down, in the wake of the pandemic, and schooling has also been moved to an online format. Most, including all Douglas County schools, are being closed down for the rest of the year; so what does that mean for TRHS Grizzlies? Students are now required to continue classes online, so the district won’t have to extend the school year to June. When asked how the pandemic was affecting them, most students said that they were either bored being cooped up in their house all day, while others said that they were enjoying the quarantine at home. “It just has made me find other interesting ways to entertain myself. Starting a Minecraft server, started playing the guitar, and taking German courses,” said junior Kevin Lagarda. Even certain course classes like P.E., still allow you to go outside and be active, to avoid succumbing to cabin fever. Because of the pandemic, most of the stores within Highlands Ranch are temporarily closed. Only businesses that are considered essential by the state, are allowed to remain open, under strict restrictions and guidelines. Colorado’s Department of Public Health and Environ-

McKenna Frakes ment lists critical business as, “Healthcare Operations (Hospitals, Pharmacies, Nursing Homes), Critical Infrastructure (water treatment facilities, telecommunication centers), critical manufacturing (computers, medical equipment, chemicals), critical retail (grocery stores, gas stations, liquor stores), critical services (child care services, animal shelters, the U.S. Postal Service), news media, banks, homeless shelters, military/aerospace operations, law enforcement, and emergency management and response.” This leaves a lot of businesses like rec centers, gyms, bars, dentists, and sporting goods stores, that were affected heavily by the shutdown. These shutdowns are certain to make people lose a lot of money, but they’re for the public’s benefit. We need these public shutdowns in effect, experts say, in order to slow the spread of the virus. The more people socially distance, the fewer people are infected. The fewer people that are infected, the quicker we can get the economy back on track. According to Patch.com, Highlands Ranch has “52 cases” of COVID-19. If we reopened the economy now, we could be facing a second wave of coronavirus, experts say. That would overwhelm the hospitals, delay the reopening of the economy, and result in even more deaths than before. All of the progress we made today, would’ve been for naught. So those in charge give this advice: Try to forget worrying about when we’ll get back to school, or when Highlands Ranch’s economy will reopen. We should remind ourselves to be calm and patient, as we ride out the remaining days of the pandemic. These shelves are almost completely empty at a local grocery store, but they are not all are like this. As shoppers rushed to get essentials, many store shelves were picked over.


May 7, 2020

Differing opinions: Millennials vs Boomers Maddy Stadler

Throughout the years that Millennials and Baby Boomers have been around, no one has ever been through something quite as bad as the coronavirus. Back in 2001, there was 9/11 that everyone thought was one of the worst things that had happened in the world. People even thought that the world was going to end in 2000, when New Years came along. Now in 2020, the coronavirus is making history as students and parents have to work from home. This is something that has changed our world drastically, people are stocking up on toilet paper, restaurants are having to do delivery instead of sit down, and other stores are closing and not accepting any customers. “It is ruining my life, I have to try and teach my kids school and work at the same time. I am more worried about the impacts to the economy than the virus itself,” said TRHS parent Jacee Elbeck. “It’s making life very hard, and there is a lot of government control.” TRHS grandparent Glenda Adams said, “Our country has never shut down until now. Is it politics?” Adams asked. While Millennials and Baby Boomers often view the world in different ways, when it comes to the coronavirus, they are on the same page. Everyone is stocking up on canned foods, milk, and mostly toilet paper. People don’t need to be stocking up on foods or toilet paper and leaving others with nothing; it isn’t fair to the Baby Boomers who area in a high risk group. Remember the next time you go to the store that there are other people in the world besides yourself. Many people are paranoid that when they aren’t feeling great, they have the coronavirus. The symptoms for this virus are some of the same symptoms for the flu. The flu symptoms are fever or feeling feverish/chills,

Sierra Martinez

cough/sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches, fatigue (tiredness). Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults. There are more symptoms of the flu than there are of the coronavirus. COVID-19 was initially thought to have only three of four symptoms rather than the flu, if you are coughing, have a fever, are tired, and have difficulty breathing (severe cases), then you have a more common chance of having the virus, according to sources on Google. When the flu was first discovered it had wiped out most of Europe and killed at least 8,000 people. When it arrived in the United States, it then was killing children from ages 2-10, people 20-40, and people over the age of 65 rapidly. Here, people who are from the ages 20-40, can still catch the virus, but it is less likely that those people could actually die from it. People over the age of 50, though, have a more likely chance of dying from the virus though. The coronavirus has really affected people through these past couple months, people stocking up on toilet paper, canned foods, hand sanitizer, soaps, and so much more. What everyone needs to do right now though is to just relax and listen to what the government wants us to do, so more and more people don’t spread the virus to more and more people. You can save lives by staying home. Doctors, nurses, and scientists are trying to create a vaccination, so that people can not get the virus. This is just like how most people get the anti-flu shot so it helps them not get the flu.

COVID-19 Symptoms: Fever Tiredness Dry Cough

FLU Symptoms: Fever Chills Muscle Aches Cough Congestion Runny Nose Headaches Fatigue


May 7, 2020 McKenna Frakes

"Mrs. Sam, thank you so much for everything you have taught me these past 3 years. It's heartbreaking to be leaving but I look forward to still keeping in contact with you as we move forward in life. Thanks again for teaching me so many new things.” -- Maddy Stadler

"Thank you for everything you have done for me. You will be missed. You have taught me to be a better writer-Thank You.” Jack Ryan

"Thank you for believing in my photography and helping me throughout the year! You've been such a great teacher! I am going to miss you! Thank you again for everything that you have done for me!” Love, McKenna Frakes

"Words cannot express how much you have changed my life. I have been constantly bugging you since day 1. Mrs. Sam, I love you so much and I am so thankful for what you have taught me. Good luck at Ponderosa " Love, Jordan Lear

"Thank you so so SO much for everything you have done for me and us as a class. It means the world to me. I appreciate you helping me grow so much over the years from journalism to sports broadcasting. Good luck at Ponderosa, I know you will do amazing things!" Thank you for everything, Carson Shea

"Thank you for being the best reacher for my 1st year at TR. Walking into freshmen year with few people I knew was nerve wrecking, but in your class, I was able to make many friends. I will miss you but I hope your new job is fun!" --Ally Stadler

"I can't believe you're leaving. You made this year so much better. Thank you for everything you did for our class and I hope your new chapter treats you well." --Sierra Martinez

A sad goodbye Our incredible advisor has decided to continue her teaching career at Ponderosa High School next year. The staff came together to say a sad goodbye.

Mrs. Sam, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you. You have shown us that the newsroom it’s not just about ourselves, but a team effort. We are going to miss you, but we know that Ponderosa High School is lucky to have you. Your decision was hard, but know that in the coming years, this staff will remember what you taught us and hope to pass it onto the next members. We know that your two replacements will be incredible, but they have some big shoes to fill. You have built relationships that will be forever. No matter how many years we have been on staff, you have welcomed us and grown with us. If it weren’t for you, we wouldn’t be the paper and people we are. Your teaching led us to many victories that we hope you will carry with you. We can’t wait to see what is next for you. Once a Grizzly, always a Grizzly. Love, The Growl Staff 2019-2020

Image by: Maddy Stadler

Profile for The Growl, Thunderridge High School

The Growl May 2020 Special Virus Issue