Reflection: Two Years Since COVID-19 Hit

March 13, 2020. A date very infamous to most students as the last day of school before COVID-19. A day that is now over two years ago.  

It was supposed to be the last school day before spring break. Many students remember fun days, like field trips and class projects, while others had end of the quarter tests and spent the day finishing assignments. After school, students were at home, already starting their spring break when they got the message that the break would be two weeks long instead, because of some virus called COVID-19. In the meantime, they were going to try e-learning, with an app called Zoom many had never heard of before. However, two weeks passed, and then two months, and the rest of the school year passed online, with virtual graduations for both the seniors, and the eighth-grade classes.  

When school started back up again, students could choose to be online or in-person. Some chose online because of comforts, staying at home, or safety reasons, while others knew they could only really learn at school. As the year passed quickly, more and more students started coming back to school, and people started to be vaccinated right around the one-year anniversary.  

By the time the 21-22 school year started up, many students were vaccinated, and eventually in November, many masks came off. Although variants like Omicron and Delta popped up and spread around very quickly, by March 2022, COVID-19 seems to some as almost completely gone.  

Although some students wear masks, if one was to look around a school hallway, it’s like COVID-19 never really existed. Almost everything is back open, and for now it seems like things have finally gone back to normal. 

Those two years seemed to have passed by almost instantly: quarantine like a distant memory. 

“I feel like it’s crazy how much time has passed since then, it feels so long ago, but time has also passed quickly. I never thought covid would last two years,” said sophomore Ava Sanders. 

She started high school online, and didn’t truly experience it until the beginning of this year – her sophomore year – and talks about how that really effected the passing of time. Half of Hillsborough didn’t even feel like highschoolers yet, with the freshmen and sophomores still feeling more like seventh and eighth graders. 

“It’s weird how when COVID-19 first started I was still in middle school, and now I’m in my second year of high school. I never would have imagine doing an entire year of high school online before I did e-learning last year,” she said. 

I was in eighth grade when COVID-19 started and I was doing a million things at once: balancing school, a play and a musical, volunteering, an acting class, violin, and orchestra, when suddenly, everything shut down indefinitely.  

I’ve always been someone who loves to be busy, so when everything suddenly shut down, I felt so bored and like I had nothing to do with my life. Since then, I’m almost halfway done with high school, and very busy again with two sports and IB, but everything is so much more different. I’ve noticed how much has changed since then, and sometimes I wonder what would have happened if COVID-19 hadn’t. I probably would have continued to the end of the year at my middle school, started at Hillsborough in the fall in-person with no masks and all of my classmates. I also would’ve likely stayed a theater kid instead of an athlete.  

I have noticed how much my personality and my friends’ personalities changed over these years, and despite how much suffering and how hard it was to go online, to wear masks, and constantly worry about COVID-19, I think that it really brought out people’s true personalities and allowed them to be more themselves during the time of almost no expectations from after March 13th until the beginning of the 2020-21 school year, and do what they wanted to do instead of what they thought they should.  

When COVID-19 started, it seemed like there was such a thin hope that things would ever go back to normal, but flash forward a few years and you’ll see masks and quarantine and e-learning. But we’re also accepting the new normal, and it seems like society is back to the way it was, almost like March 13th never happened.