LIVING THROUGH THE UNKNOWN: Being a senior during COVID-19


A FOREVER FAMILY There have been many positive memories over the last 4 years. The pandemic of the coronavirus has impacted everyone in some shape or form. Pictured are the senior girls at the senior sunrise before the first day of school. Photo Courtesy: Corina Massey.

Many students are worried about what the rest of the year will look like. Pictured is the Class of 2019 at the end of their graduation ceremony. There has been no cancellation of graduation as of March 26. Photo Courtesy: Lucila Massey.










Corina Massey


      The coronavirus or COVID-19 has hit the United States by storm. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), as of March 25, 2020, 54,453 people had been diagnosed with the coronavirus in the United States and 737 had passed away. There have been 618 confirmed cases in the state of Connecticut alone. New York has the most with 26,358 confirmed cases. 

      In hopes of preventing the spread of the virus across the state, Governor Ned Lamont declared that public schools be closed until April 20, at the earliest. Closing schools helps contribute to the idea of social distancing, which emphasizes limiting the amount of public and group interactions. Howard Markel, director of the Center for the History of Medicine at the University of Michigan in a New York Times article, stated that during the Spanish flu of 1918 and 1919 those who closed schools and banned public gatherings saw fewer deaths. 

      The coronavirus can happen to anyone, however, those who are older, have asthma, HIV, compromised immune systems, and are pregnant women are at the highest risk, according to the CDC. It is important to wash your hands and avoid touching your face to help prevent contracting the virus. 

      The coronavirus is something unprecedented. Many schools are using online learning and are forced to make many tough decisions. Every student in Foran has been impacted by the virus, whether they are into the arts, athletics, or academics. This is very true for the senior class who was getting ready to enjoy their last few months before heading down different paths. 

      No one would have predicted their senior year to go as it has for the Class of 2020. If you were to ask them a month ago what they were looking forward to you would have gotten a wide range of answers. The band kids would have said their Disney Trip. Our winter athletes would have said the state tournament. Others would have said college accepted student days, which gives students the opportunity to meet people and see the campus before having to make their college decision by May 1. However, due to the coronavirus, these events have been postponed and even canceled. 

      Senior, Lucas Burgard, recalls being told his Boy’s Swimming state tournament was canceled. He said “I felt numb. It was like 10 years of swimming, the laughs, the tears, the hard work, was just gone. It all ended so abruptly. It would have never crossed my mind that a virus would have such a detrimental impact on my senior year. However, in the next few days, it became clear to me that the decisions that were made were well-intended.”

      With so much in the air about the course of the rest of the year, many seniors may be feeling down. Some are worried if they will get to slide into home one last time, touch the field, or compete. The CIAC has not made the decision to cancel spring sports, however, the season has been postponed, as it was set to begin last week. According to senior athlete, Tyler Griffin, “I am really disappointed that I may not get the chance to play the game I love with my teammates and coaches again on Ken Walker Field. It has meant so much to me to play with my friends that I have been playing with since Little League, and regardless of what ends up happening, I will always cherish the memories I already made.”

      Some are worried about going to prom again this year or whether or not they should purchase a dress for a cotillion, whether they can watch the senior video and attend the picnic with their friends. I know all of these events are something I have looked forward to since freshman year. It is hard knowing that the grades before us had these opportunities, yet we do not know if we will get the chance. 

      Some may be worried about graduation. Decorating their caps, with friends, and waving to your family in the stands during the ceremony is something many look forward to. It is something that is shown in movies and your parents tell you it is a memory you will not forget. As a senior myself, I am feeling that FOMO, or the fear of missing out, on these fun events that are exclusive to seniors. There has been no official statement on the cancelation of graduation and the last day of school remains June 11, 2020. 

      The only thing we can do now is look at the positives because they are there. This is a time where it can be hard to not see your friends every day, but you get to spend time with family. Next year, seniors will not be home to watch the Bachelor or eat family dinner every night, but being shutdown in quarantine allows for family bonding. Burgard says, “We have gone on walks, played games, and truly enjoyed the time we have had together. These are the moments we sometimes miss out on during the busy school year.”

      It has also been a time for self-growth. Whether that be taking a walk, reading a book, to letting your creative side come out, seniors are expressing themselves. According to senior, Zoe Pringle, “During these times art has allowed me to escape my worries and just focus in the moment… has been so therapeutic to me. I have been able to create nearly every day in order to build my technique and certain skills, which is something I never had the time to do before.”

      I can say first hand it is hard not knowing what the future has in store. I have struggled to understand why in this situation. It can feel like the hard work and drive you have put in over the last four years is slowly being erased for each and every one of the senior class. However, it is important to recognize there is no one to blame. The school, district, and state are making the decisions out of our best interest. They are looking out for not only our safety but our families and those in the community. 

      Everything happens for a reason and this year is something no one will forget. It is a unique scenario that parents and grandparents have not experienced. As the popular childhood classic, High School Musical states, “We are All in This Together,” and together we will continue to have hope for the rest of the school year and the safety and health for the ones we love.