EDITORS NOTE: The Scoop reporters asked these questions just hours before the governor of Guam announced on Sunday night that three people had been tested and results came back positive for COVID-19.  

On Sunday night, the governor announced that three people, two who flew in from the Philippines and one person whose family member recently returned from Japan, were being treated at Guam Memorial Hospital after they were confirmed to have COVID-19.

The announcement has triggered a series of closures and postponements, including the closure of Department of Education, private Catholic and Christian, and Department of Defense Education Activity schools. Most schools have either started or are preparing for online learning.

As the island tries to find its new normal, local teens share their views on the series of events and policies that impact their daily lives.

Chrysta Abulencia, junior, John F. Kennedy High School  

1. How is your family preparing in light of the global spread of coronavirus?

Since the uprising of the virus in January, my family, who are in the medical field, have been slowly compiling medical supplies as the virus progressively gets worse. From N95 masks to prevent droplet spread to sanitation and gloves, the list gets longer and longer. Foodwise, we just stockpiled on ichiban and we’ll see where that takes us. 

2. How does this coronavirus situation affect you?

As someone who is striving to become a medical professional and is familiar with the medical field, the virus is rather daunting. When you look at the statistics, although majority of the critical patients are well in age, it does not exclude the possibility of someone our age from potentially decking due to it. Not only that, but knowing how bacteria/infection spreads due to my nursing class, it is a scary reality especially with how contagious this pandemic is and how it is especially harmful to older individuals. Because, in reality we only think of themselves rather than the bigger picture of the family that range from all ages, young to old, that are around them.

3. What events are you specifically afraid to get canceled?

At this moment, I’m not really afraid for any event being canceled since the reason for cancellation is for the betterment of the health of the people around them.

4. What are the questions you have regarding the virus and its impact on Guam and school?

My only question for the government/schools are when and how are our hospitals, which are ill equipped for this virus, going to process the influx of patients that are bound to be confirmed with the virus. With no cure and with how our culture runs with being in close contact with one another, how will we prevent further infection. With our groceries being imported and us most likely being in isolation, how will the families without resources survive without food and water. And lastly, what are the plans/protocols for the worst possible scenario here on Guam?

Jennifer Schmidt, senior, St. John’s School

1. How is your family preparing for the coronavirus?

We stocked up on a lot, I mean a lot, of foods - like SPAM and stuff. We also bought hand sanitizer, bleach and masks. We bought the stuff in January, so we are pretty well prepped. 

2. If the coronavirus does come, how do you expect to react to it?

I think that I'll be fine. Maybe limit my interactions in public spaces.

3. Are there any events that you’re scared will be canceled?

Graduation. Prom.

4. If the novel coronavirus does come to Guam, what would that mean to you and your family?

If corona comes to Guam, my family is probably going to be freaked out. At this point, I don't know if Guam is prepared to handle coronavirus. So, if it does come, I think it will be mainly up to individuals and their families to remain healthy.

5. Do you have any questions regarding the coronavirus and how it’ll impact school or Guam?

What should schools be doing to limit coronavirus beside washing hands posters?

Aaron Gumataotao, senior, Father Duenas Memorial School

1. How is your family preparing in light of the global spread of coronavirus?

My family and I are avoiding going to public places, especially places where there would be a gathering of people. We make it a point to wash our hands and avoid direct contact with other people, from not shaking hands to covering a cough or sneeze. We're currently stocking up on medicine and groceries and disinfecting our house to make sure we don't spread disease or catch the virus.

2. What events are you worried could get canceled?

I fear that major community and school events like FD's graduation ceremony or Guam Gate Theater's production of "Little Shop of Horrors" will be canceled. Many people anticipate these huge events because they're milestones for students and people in the community. 

3. What are the questions you have regarding the virus and its impact on Guam and school?

• If the coronavirus is on Guam, how will Guam's hospitals handle the quickly spreading virus? They might not have the capacity to help the people if the number of infected patients drastically increases over night.

 • How can we provide Guam with more virus testing kits? The virus might just be on Guam already, but the people won't know it due to the lack of testing kits on island.

Samantha Hon, senior, St. John’s School

1. How is your family preparing for the coronavirus?

We’re practicing safety tips such as washing our hands whenever we can and sanitizing our home often. We’re also trying to avoid going to large, crowded areas.

2. If someone on Guam tests positive to coronavirus, how do you expect to react to it?

I will probably be staying home a lot more often and continue to practice those safety tips to stay in good health.

3. Are there any events that you’re worried will be canceled?

I’d say I’m pretty scared of both prom and graduation being canceled because it’s our senior year, and those are some memories I’d like to not miss out on.

4. If the coronavirus does come, what would that mean to you and your family?

 It’d mean we would have to take more caution in everything in order to prevent it from affecting us and others.

Ashton Tatum, junior, Guam High School

1. What are you concerns regarding COVID-19?

There’s a lot that has gone on this year, being my third year in high school, but also a lot of events that were canceled because of it. Earlier in the quarter, I was supposed to visit Japan for my Far East drama trip that we had been prepping for. But it was canceled because of how many cases that had come up in Japan. I was also supposed to take a family trip there later this spring, which has also been canceled.

I had also spent some time prepping for my SAT test, which I was hoping to take before senior year. But it was canceled and the retake hasn’t been determined yet.

There’s been a lot of talk about canceling school here because so many other schools have canceled in the states, which I hope doesn’t happen because I’m already really behind. But, more importantly, if this escalates by summer, my summer plans might also be at jeopardy, so COVID-19 has really been annoying this year.

Lydia Tang, freshman, Guam High School

1. What is your family doing in light of the spread of coronavirus?

We are definitely avoiding more public gatherings where there will be a large number of people, and then just taking normal precautions like washing our hands a little bit more often and stocking up on necessities.

Eusebio Orot, senior, Father Duenas Memorial School

1. What are the questions you have regarding the virus and its impact on Guam and on schools.

I’m sure that everyone is wondering whether school will be canceled and how other programs, like sports, will be affected. I was hoping to enjoy the last few weeks of school with my friends. It’s senior year and I’m trying to enjoy every last moment I can. I was also anticipating graduation, but I don’t know if the ceremony will be affected by the precautions the island is taking because of the coronavirus.

Donavin Lamb, senior, Father Duenas Memorial School 

1. What are you and your family doing in light of the spread of coronavirus?

In light of the coronavirus, many families are taking precautionary measures, such as washing their hands and limiting their contact with things. People are also using this time to take advantage of the great deals happening around the island because of this coronavirus.

2. What are the questions you have regarding the virus and its impact on Guam and their schools.

Questions, such as whether certain events like the Songfest and Prom are being canceled. (I’m) hoping to attend things like Songfest or prom. But I’m unsure if it will happen due to the governor's latest address. To go even further, I am not sure whether this will affect our graduation or even school.

The Scoop reporters Ron Coloma, Kaitlyn Wolfe, Julianna Cabello, Eunice De Belen and Jan Malig-On contributed to this story.

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