By Halimah Kargbo
Image Source: legalbusiness.co.uk
If you have been alive for the last 10 months, at some point, you have probably heard the words:
“Once COVID is over…” followed by some kind of expectation for the far and distant future. This phrase arose in those first few weeks of March before it was known that the two-week vacation from school would turn into a year-long one. At that point, there was still the hope that life would return to normal; these days, that hope is pretty hard to come by.
“I feel like it’s going to take a while to get back to completely normal,” senior Katie Mason says. “Some people are still gonna be paranoid about it for years, which is understandable.”
The pandemic truly affected the way that we all socialize and just generally have fun. Exciting things that used to get students pumped up, unfortunately, seem like things of the past and are met with much apprehension.
“Going places and seeing friends without a mask would be cool, but people, including myself, now have fear in the back of their minds that they will catch COVID-19,” says senior Talia Parchment.
On a more positive note, there are still many things that some of our Hammond students are actually looking forward to.
“God, I just wanna see my friends. I wanna get a huge group of people and all go to the beach, or Disney World, or something together,” Katie adds. “Being inside with people without masks on seems weird now, but I can’t wait for movie nights and stuff.”
This appears to be a shared sentiment. So many students have one or two things that they have in mind to do once it’s safe to do so.
“Even if we don’t make it out of the pandemic by the time school is over, I’m still pumped for Senior Week, hanging out with my friends, going to the movies, and eventually going to actual Halloween parties in October,” says senior Alexis Narh.
It’s been months since students have been able to see their friends, or simply do the things that they once enjoyed. The idea of getting to have this sense of normalcy one day is an exciting prospect. There is also another big experience coming up for a certain part of the population at Hammond.
“I’m looking forward to going to college and having a true undergraduate experience. Hopefully, we can move into our dorms and make the most out of the new environments we’ll be in for this next chapter of our lives,” Hammond senior Amarachi Mbadugha expresses.
College is such a new experience for those who decide to go and the pandemic only adds to that level of uncertainty.
“I’m not sure what college is going to look like next year due to COVID, and I wonder what will happen if it’s still not safe to hang out in groups,” Dilei Yarmah says.
So many of these months in the pandemic have been focused on the worst; oftentimes it feels like the rising death toll and the general fear of getting sick is all that many can think about. But, having small hopes for the future and keeping them in mind is a pretty positive way to cope.