3 Years Later…

Timeline of COVID-19.

Covid comes to America:
There had been stories of a scary virus infecting people in Wuhan, China, but when the first case of the COVID-19 was reported in Washington January 10, 2020, the virus became a reality to Americans. Anxiety began to rise as words like ‘deadly’ and ‘pandemic’ were thrown around. There were shortages of food, masks, and even toilet paper as people prepared for the worst. A lot was in the unknown as regulations were established, then changed. It was clear the whole country was in the dark.

Garfield shuts down:
On March 11 2020, Mr. Howard called over the loudspeaker and announced that Garfield would be closing due to the virus. Parents and teachers were nervous, but there was excitement in the air and talk among students about what to do during their free two weeks. Little did they know, these two weeks were the start of nearly a year and a half of school closure.

Online school starts:
As soon as it became apparent the lockdown wasn’t ending anytime soon, school faculty had to find ways of educating students from online. Online school was messy at best, and there was a new rule at Garfield that you could not get lower than a C grade. Keeping students engaged and present was a struggle, but by the 2020-21 school students and teachers had adapted to this new form of learning and schooling felt more structured.

The rise of hobbies:
Being stuck inside all day fostered an environment of restlessness. Whether it was walking, baking, or learning tik tok dances, people picked up new hobbies to boost their foul moods during quarantine. Now people had the time to try things they never could before.

The world is literally ending:
Stuck at home, everyone watched turmoil unfold across the globe. Hundreds were dying per day from COVID , wildfires tore through western America, protests against police brutality turned violent in multiple cities, and at one point there was a threat of the start of WWIII. With so much time on everyone’s hands they had nothing to do but watch the news and look at the internet. So much information was circulating that no one knew what was real or made up. Tensions were high and hope felt sparse. Many wondered when and if things would get better.

Vaccine was released:
A ray of hope shined through the gray when Pfizer and Moderna were released as a vaccine for COVID-19 on December 11, 2020. For the first time since the country went into lockdown there was a light at the end of the tunnel. By spring of 2021, most people had at least one vaccine as they became mandatory for travel, sports, and other activities. But this excitement was short lived as the Delta variant emerged late spring of 2021. The increase in cases once again overwhelmed the health system as someone who got Delta was twice more likely to end up in the hospital than those who had the previous variants of COVID-19.

Schools open back up:
March of 2021 students are let back into school nearly a year after it initially shut down. The new hybrid learning schedule meant that students were split into multiple cohorts who were in the school at different times, to lower the amount of students in the school at the same time. While one cohort was in school the other learned online. Masks were required, desks were separated, and it was encouraged to stay 6 feet apart at all times. However, by September of the 2021-22 school year all students were back in the school. Being able to interact with peers again was exciting, but a year in isolation changed how everyone interacted with one another. Highschoolers, who missed out a couple socially formative years, especially had to navigate social situations in this new reality. Changing rules and spikes of COVID variants made for a turbulent school year, but the Garfield community pulled through together.

A new normal:
As nice as it would be to go back to how things were before COVID-19 took over the world, it is not realistic. The world will never get that time spent in quarantine back and the effects COVID had on the community will never go away; but after three years, society has found some stability in a new reality. At least one positive of this terrible virus is the widespread appreciation for togetherness, and as humankind moves forward that’s one thing they can hold onto.