Art by Hailey Mosher
We’re not mad, we’re just disappointed.
As Hollywood tropes along with childhood movies like High School Musical would have it, senior year is dedicated to winning sports championships, finding the perfect prom dresses, sharing final moments with childhood friends and classmates, and throwing our caps high into the air at graduation.
As fate would have it, however, the class of 2020’s senior year is reserved for face masks and quarantines, something not even a Hollywood movie could predict.
With the recent outbreak of COVID-19, the state of New Hampshire has issued a three-week minimum closure of all public schools in the state transitioning the learning to online classes. Along with this act, sports championships have been awarded without being played, out-of-school trips have been canceled, and spring activities have been delayed until further notice.
For those of you who have had an event canceled already, whether it be a state championship game, a fun spring break vacation, or a chance to march in two of the most famous cities in the country, we know that there is a piece of you missing. And we’re sorry.
All of the practices, plans, games, and efforts that lead you up to this point seem like a waste of time at this moment. We’re all asking ourselves, what was the point? Did we already miss our last day of high school and we didn’t even know it? Why is this fair?
It isn’t fair.
None of us have an answer for why this had to happen, and as we try to search for some way to reason through it all we’re looking for someone to blame. But there’s not one occasion, or event, or person that we can pin the blame of losing our time at high school on. And as a society, we don’t like that there’s no one to blame because then the problem becomes unclear and uncertain.
Uncertainty is the factor that is controlling the minds of the people who haven’t had an event canceled yet. We play each weekday by ear, hoping that the virus will have a miraculous cure, so that by April 6 we can return to the school and finish out the last quarter in a normal way.
We’re all hoping that by the time May and June come we’ll have the opportunity to dress up for prom, spend the last few weeks of high school with our friends, finish our senior sports seasons, and graduate on the day that we were supposed to.
While all of these events seem very unclear for most of us right now, one thing is pretty certain and that’s the fact that Londonderry is a relatively safe place to be at the moment.
Countries such as China and Italy, along with states near us, have had hundreds of deaths, whereas the state of New Hampshire has only had one death reported. Luckily, Londonderry hasn’t reported any cases yet.
Different people all around the world are learning what it means to truly be affected by this virus. Some are experiencing the terrible symptoms and effects that the virus brings, leaving them weak and hospitalized. Whereas other people are dealing with what it means to lose a loved one to COVID-19.
So yes, even though it does hurt every time our inboxes get flooded with emails predicting a new cancellation of a life checkpoint event, in the grand scheme of what’s happening around the world, it makes our problems seem less trivial.
We’re not saying that high schoolers don’t have a right to be upset or angry about what’s happening. We students, especially the seniors, are living in a time where we can’t do anything, as we see all of our events disappearing right in front of us. And, yes, we do have a right to feel emotions, and we should not be criticized or labeled as selfish for wishing that this didn’t happen to us our senior year. We do, however, believe that everything should be taken into perspective.
This pandemic is one of the first events in the last century that has altered our daily lives in a major way. At this time we shouldn’t be arguing with one another, or taking a whole bunch of toilet paper away from those who need it. Even though physically we can’t all come together and be there for one another we can still find ways to help within the community and to be on the same safe side of this crisis.
This virus isn’t taking away any school time from the community. Our teachers and school administrators have been working hard on making the transition to online learning as seamless as possible. They are working around the clock to make sure that our routine stays normal and that we’re continuing to get the education for which the district is known.
For upcoming tests and events at the school, the College Board is trying to make AP tests accessible from our own homes, and they’re working on different kinds of strategies so that juniors taking the SAT don’t get derailed from their college journey.
As for the big events that are supposed to mark the end of the high school era, those aren’t going to be forgotten. Although COVID-19 could potentially take away your big flashy final moments of high school, it can’t take away all the memories you’ve made over the last four years.
From freshman year to now, you have accomplished so much. You’ve put in so much hard work and dedication, and along the way, you grew into the person you are supposed to be.
Despite the fact that it’s a rough time for everyone right now, at least we’re all in it together. Even if together means over Zoom or Facetime.