The 2020-2021 school year, for a long time, was an idea. A memory formed even before its occurence, a 4th period daydream to process the difficulties and hardships of my junior year. My senior year of high school represented the finality of small, yet satisfactory impact that I was able to have before parting ways completely. Within an immensely reasonable delay, I still find myself battling my own internal selfishness in grieving the loss of my own high expectations. The thought of years worth of dedication to a system that you’ve put so much of your life into not amounting to the things you’ve hoped is disheartening to almost anyone. Though, there are not decisions without intention or purpose, and I am in full understanding of what has to be done in keeping others along with myself safe during this global emergency. This article will be reflecting on not returning to school in the fall from both a logical and an emotional standpoint, as well as what this means for students of any age.
Realistically, it isn’t incredibly difficult to see as to why students return to school will not be in any haste. As COVID-19 numbers in others countries are continuously dropping or disappearing completely, the United States, Florida specifically, has been rising more than ever. With clear disregard to safety precautions being suggested and even enforced by the law, Florida is still seeing an increase of hundreds of cases per day, and an overall total of over 300,000 throughout the state. As executive order 20-70 slowly begins to fade with the reopening of businesses, it is seen that there was not enough time given for America to recover and now it is affecting things of higher value than simply going bowling with friends or eating inside of a restaurant. These irresponsible decisions made by our officials, while providing temporary comfort, is ensuring that gatherings on a larger scale, such as returning to school, are less likely to occur.
Though, the health precautions that are necessary in the containing and decreasing of COVID-19 are being almost entirely disregarded in Palm Beach County’s decisions regarding their future attempts to send students back to school. As of now, sending students of any age back to school in our county shouldn’t be up for consideration due to our mass increase of cases and our current inability to see an end to the virus. Even with this, officials are still meeting over Zoom to announce their intention to send kids back that are as young as 5, first. Involving K-2 in the first group to go back to school is almost nonconsensually experimental, as kids that age cannot comprehend the seriousness of this pandemic in making the decision to return for themselves. High school age students, while still minors, are much more able to understand what is going on along with the precautions necessary to properly socially distance and keep masks on during the school day. With freshmen being the only high school grade on list of (first) returning students currently, there is less time for upperclassmen to enjoy what aspects of senior year that could possibly remain.
To students, to seniors, and to myself, it is okay to feel defeated by the lack of improvement that is clearly seen. As much as I want to be respectful of the safety of others and have been thus far, that does not mask the fact that nothing will make up for the irreplaceable time that I, and many others are going to lose. The most I can hope for is some form of normalcy throughout the 2020-2021 school year, even if that means waiting until after December to return. I hope that people will see what this virus will cost people, and has costed people since it spread to America in January. I acknowledge that the class of 2021 are not the first to have missed out on a large portion of our senior year, but I hope that we are the last. As plans for an eventual return are in constant change, I will continue to readjust this idealistic future that I had grown so attached to without fully realizing it.