Menlo Seniors and Families Take Various Approaches to Social Distancing


Senior Avery Lee shoots a basketball during a practice with her club. Lee said that after the pandemic, practicing basketball safely and comfortably has become more difficult. Photo courtesy of Avery Lee.

Valentina Ross, Copy Editor

As a result of strict social distancing orders and inconsistent information, many Menlo families have formed different opinions on what they are willing to risk during the pandemic.

Senior Luke Yuen feels his parents are very strict. From March through August, Yuen was not allowed to see anyone or leave his home. Now, he is allowed to see one to two people at a time, as long as they’re socially distanced and wearing masks.

“We only go out when we need to. My mom works in health care, so she had to go to the office a lot,” Yuen said. “She’s on sabbatical now, which is helpful because she doesn’t go out too much anymore. We cook all meals at home, except take out sometimes.” 

However, Yuen’s younger brother, sophomore Ethan Yuen, was the only one allowed to be in a small pod this summer for his cross country training. “I’m super social, so I hate to admit it, but I’d probably go out more if my parents would let me,” Luke Yuen said. 

Senior Avery Lee is in a similar situation. “Right now, [my parents] are pretty strict about [social distancing] since we see my grandparents often. People who are not in my family have not been inside my house since March,” Lee said.

Lee’s mom only leaves the house to go grocery shopping, and her dad has been working at home since March. “We only go out to our grandparents house as a family. We have a lot of different masks and wash our hands very often,” Lee said.

Lee is also a competitive basketball player; however, the pandemic has been an obstacle to her normal practice routines. “My parents have been super strict about basketball […] since they don’t know where other people have been,” Lee said. “I have practiced and trained a lot on my own, which is challenging at times to do by myself and I really miss competing and being in the gym with my friends and teammates.” Lee plays on a club team called Palo Alto Midnight. “I’ve just started to do outdoor workouts with a small group of people, and I always wear a mask and sanitize my hands very often and wipe all the balls down,” Lee said.

Like most people, Lee wants things to go back to normal. “I do sometimes [socialize with] people. It is always outside and socially distanced because I understand how serious it is,” Lee said. “I do my part in trying to make sure we can go back to school or be back in the gym.”

Senior Christian Corcoran has had more flexibility, unlike Yuen and Lee. At first, Corcoran’s family stayed at home and adopted a careful attitude toward the pandemic situation. However, Corcoran’s parents have “begun to open up a little more,” as they feel he needs a social life. Nonetheless, they have remained cautious.

“They want me to enjoy my senior year whilst being careful and aware of the circumstances. I would say they have definitely begun taking my mental health into account more and more and have realized it is important that I do things I enjoy on top of being aware of the consequences,” Corcoran said.