Living Life On Pause

As is obvious, schools, businesses, and all non-essential services have been shut down for the foreseeable future due to the COVID-19 pandemic that is ravaging the globe and crippling the healthcare systems of even the most modernized nations. While we have mainly paid our attention to those struggling with the illness, those caring for patients, and the politicians grasping for strings trying to save the stability of their countries, there is one key group being affected here that has not received as much focus. Students.

Pupils from elementary, middle, and high schools as well as those from universities have been regarded indirectly through coverage of new “distance learning” plans, however, they as people have not been heard from very much. So the question here is, what are they thinking? While people in the age range of this demographic, early childhood to early twenties, are typically not affected by the illness itself in terms of symptoms, they are affected by how it is shaping their education and lives.

As a student myself, I can say that from firsthand experience my peers and I have mixed emotions about the entire ordeal, especially since this is our coveted senior year. Events including our prom, capstone internships, final spring sports seasons, senior banquets, and even graduation are currently in jeopardy. 

“It hasn’t been as bad as I thought it would be.” says Olivia Vogel, senior at Verona High School.  “I really don’t think that prom is going to happen, just because I feel like it’s not the safest, in the interest of how many people will be there.” Many would likely agree with this sentiment. There have even been joking discussions suggesting prom should be held with just a few people in a living room, mimicking a scene from classic health class movie, Contagion, which depicts an eerily similar scenario to that which we all face today. Though some, like Chloe Mathewson, are still aiming for it to go as planned “I really hope it happens. I’m just acting like it is.” The general mood among seniors persists in seeming less than hopeful though, with Christopher Lakin, Christian Dionisio, Abigail Bermeo, and Michael Sluck, all seniors, giving it “a 90% chance of [prom] not happening.” 

As far as sports go, since they are very popular among all grades at Verona High School, there has definitely been widespread disappointment at their current halt, and potential total cancellation. “Horrible, I miss everything and everyone.” Aimee Griffin, sophomore, says about the sports ordeal. Not only are students disappointed for their own sake though, but for senior college players who have had their seasons cut off completely. A popular Instagram account, @redshirtcoronayear, has become a place where students from all grades and all locations have congregated to support players in these unfortunate circumstances. As a part of the track team, I can say that the mood has become more sad, yet hopeful for a continuation of the season in the coming months. 

Arguably the most important event that is not certain to take place anymore is graduation, something every senior has been looking forward to for the past four years. While many are trying to remain positive and not thinking too much about a cancellation that is not even certain yet, some, like Michael Sluck, believe “Graduation will probably get cancelled.” . The future is not set in stone yet though, and despite many universities not having commencements, they usually occur in May, so there still is a possibility for our mid-June graduation to survive.

As is obvious, there are mixed emotions and opinions about all of this, and the impending doom of the traditional events we, the seniors, have so longed for has definitely caused some sadness. I know that I, and many of my fellow classmates, would never expect to be wishing to go back to school this much, but again, for the seniors, these are the last few months we all get to spend together, and I am sure we would all rather that time be salvaged than have it succumb to a disease. 


Stay safe y’all.