The Rogue News

Gahl Falkner
During the course of the Coronavirus pandemic, many people have felt starved and deprived of necessary human connection and physical contact from other people. But Senior at Ashland High School Gahl Falkner and her friends were able to work around this obstacle while still being safe and cautious about preventing the spread of this disease. Falkner is a creative and talented hip-hop dancer and before the Pandemic hit and lockdowns were ordered she was used to being around other people all of the time. But like most people, when all social gatherings were shut down or postponed she no longer was able to socialize or connect with people outside of her family. However, over the summer Falkner and her close friends came to an agreement. Falkner described it as a “Germ Bubble” or “Pod” with her friends who live in her neighborhood. She said these are friends she is really close with because they basically “grew up together.” The germ bubble consists of three friends and herself who all agreed to not see anyone else outside of their families and each other. With this agreement within the group, they were then able to hug and hang out with each other without masks or social distancing. Falkner added that they still hung out outside all the time to stay extra safe. Some of the things Falkner and her bubble did over summer were doing flips on a trampoline, talking together and stargazing in a field. Falkner said she particularly enjoyed the stargazing. When asked if there are any challenges that come with podding Falkner said that towards the end of the summer, one of her friends started pulling away from the group and also hanging out with other people. “It was really… I’d say scary,” she said. Falkner talked about how when one friend starts seeing other people the pod is forced to be exposed to more germs and it makes spending time together feel a lot more uneasy. Falkner’s situation for her summer shows that podding is an effective way to cope with and combat the lack of human contact during a pandemic but it also takes the trust and effort of each person involved.

Gahl Falkner

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Gahl Falkner