Driving into the storm of COVID-19

Park bus drivers, students adjust to safety precautions


Anna Benishek

Students getting on buses after school March 8. COVID-19 has created a different atmosphere where bus drivers and students must focus on adapting to the situation.

Johanna Kaplan

For drivers and students alike, COVID-19 has drastically changed the daily operations of a school bus. Lashawn Favors, driver for Park schools, has become all too familiar with this new reality. 

“One pro is that I can still work and keep my distance from everybody and keep it safe,” Favors said. “But there are so many cons. I can’t even begin to name them all.”

One major difference this year is the lack of social interaction on the bus, according to sophomore Mya Stanberry.

“(Before COVID-19) I’d have friends sit with me and talk. Now it’s just really quiet and everyone is on their phones and listening to music,” Stanberry said. 

For high school students, busses are often near-deserted, according to sophomore Amelia Mickelson. 

“There’s a lot less people. Now there’s around five people in my bus, morning and after- school,” Mickelson said.

According to Favors, COVID-19 precautions have complicated his daily routine. Between sanitizing and implementing seating charts, safety procedures are a priority for Favors.

“(There is) all the extra work that we have to do. We gotta count kids on the bus, count them off the bus, open extra windows when it’s cold outside, the whole seating chart with distancing the kids on the buses. It’s all a lot,” Favors said.

Despite a long list of precautions drivers take, students on uncrowded busses have little to do, according to Stanberry. 

“Since usually there aren’t so many people, there aren’t that many precautions (taken). But when there are a few more people, we know how to distance ourselves,” Stanberry said. 

At the end of the day, being on a bus was a much simpler ordeal without COVID-19 according to Favors. 

“I’m just ready for everything to go back to normal,” Favors said. “I love it though: the kids, being out in the sunshine every day.”