For the past school year, the Grace administration has been doing everything they can to keep the virus under control: temperature checks and health questionnaires every morning, dividing the school into Cohort A and Cohort B, randomly selecting students and faculty to get tested weekly, as well as populating the school with arrow stickers indicating which direction to walk down the hall. We are fortunate that we are still able to attend school in this hybrid model and haven’t been relegated to an all-virtual model unlike some schools in the area. However, we must make sure we remember the reality of our situation and the danger the holiday season could present to our fragile bubble of safety.
According to The New York Times, “At least 2,857 new coronavirus deaths and 216,548 new cases were reported in the United States on December 3. Over the past week, there has been an average of 180,327 cases per day, an increase of 8 percent from the average two weeks earlier.” One would think after six months of mask-wearing and complying with various safety precautions we would at least be making progress. We are, instead, going backward.
For the past few months, we have seen New York revive itself. Restaurants found a silver lining and reinvigorated their outdoor seating arrangements, first-time homeowners signed leases for vacant apartments, and families moved back to the city. Everything was running smoothly, but it’s 2020, so we should all know that we can’t rely on anything being consistent. New York was just starting to become whole again until a 10 pm curfew was enacted for restaurants. How many restaurants will be forced to close because they don’t have the necessities to stay open with outdoor seating? How long will schools remain open for? Will I, along with the rest of my senior class, be able to have somewhat of a final high school experience? Will I be able to see my grade again? My friends who I have only seen once in the past eight months?
There is so much grey area, unanswerable questions, and fear right now. I wish this article could provide the answers to all the questions we desperately want, but the only real remedy I can suggest is to wear a mask, stay outside, and keep hoping that someday soon, life can return to normal.
Photos by Grace Gazette Culture Editor Ava Andrews ’22