If you’ve been listening to the news in the last few months, you’ll know that the Pacific Gas and Electric Company caused blackouts throughout California in an attempt to prevent fires from starting in mid-October and November. After last year’s disastrous blazes, they’re taking steps to ensure that they aren’t to blame for any fires. So large areas have a complete lack of electricity, and it hasn’t been easy. These blackouts have been affecting our student body in a variety of ways.
After the November 2018 Camp Fire, which PG&E took the blame for, the company filed bankruptcy after trying to pay billions of dollars of debt for the fires in wine country and the Camp Fire. Large areas have been facing a complete lack of electricity, meaning no internet, no schoolwork, no refrigerated food, and a host of other things we have trouble imagining because they’ve become a part of our daily lives.
We conducted a survey regarding the PG&E blackouts asking students from SHC whether or not they were affected by them. From around 80 responses, 11.2% were minorly affected, and 3.8% of the people were majorly affected, as of October 27. Students who were affected responded saying that without power, they’ve had to stay at friends houses, haven’t been able to finish homework or turn assignments in on Schoology, weren’t able to work on college applications, and had no access to the internet along with all of the other things that come along with having no power. To start with, faculty was informed that all students with no power were excused from their online homework. A little later, when the most areas were in the dark, the school offered the library and cafeteria to be open after school hours for students to study and for families to eat a meal together, with electricity.
Despite seemingly desperate attempts to stop the wild blazes, there are still fires raging all over California, which caused the orange sky and burnt smell on some October days. It seems like 2018 wasn’t a special year and fires are going to become commonplace at this time of year. After reports that more outages are soon to come to Northern California, it’s become clear that these issues are more pressing than previously thought. These outages will continue to affect the student body in regards to no internet to do complete work online, no refrigerated food, and many more problems that conflict with our daily lives.