Category: Features

COVID-friendly Ways to Make the Holidays Fun

By Halimah Kargbo

Features Editor

Navigating the Holidays During the COVID-19 Pandemic | Cedars-Sinai

Image Source: cedars-sinai.org

This year’s holiday season is different from any other. Most of the traditions that many families once enjoyed have to be adjusted due to the pandemic.

Autumn Worthington, a junior at Hammond, expressed this same sentiment, saying “This year the plans aren’t really that grand since we can’t be around large sums of people compared to like before. Before [COVID-19], I’d be going to different families’ houses and spending time with lots of people.”

Now, Hammond students and their families are celebrating the holidays either from home or within their immediate family. 

“I am staying home with my mom watching Christmas movies,” senior Talia Parchment comments. “This is different from recent years because I would be spending time with aunts and cousins as well.”

Staying safe is on everyone’s mind this season, and even more so as cases begin to surge. So, here’s a list of COVID-friendly holiday plans to consider as our winter break approaches:

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HoCo Wishes for Snow

By Ali Ahmed

Staff Writer

AdobeStock, free-use

As the holiday season draws near, nothing would make one happier than news of early snow for a White Christmas. Anything more than the last few years of dreadful slush and one-inch snowfalls that Howard County is so accustomed to.

Becca Kane, a Hammond High Junior, emphasized this. “The lack of snow is unfortunate. It gets so cold around here in the winter, and snow is what makes that cold worth it for me. So it’s frustrating”.

Predictions by The Weather Channel say we should have a “cold and white” winter for this 2020-2021 season, which is more optimistic than any prediction received in the last few years for Maryland. 

A “White Christmas” is an iconic situation, rarely occurring here in Howard County. Our chances for a White Christmas are slim, but not impossible. The Weather Channel, along with other credible sources, predict the later weeks of December being below freezing with chances of precipitation.

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Personal Growth In Quarantine

How some celebrities have led the way

By Jessica Mawi

Staff Writer

Justin Bieber’s song, “Holy” released in September 2020 under his new album, “Changes.”

We are all aware of COVID-19 hitting worldwide to the point where it became a national emergency. Many stores, public services, and even parks went into lockdown along with us citizens for the safety of ourselves and others. Many of us complained about being quarantined, but we never challenged ourselves with a new perspective. A perspective in which there is a light at the end of the tunnel. What is that light? It is personal growth.

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The Comeback of Drive-In Movie Theaters

As Traditional Theaters Lose Customers Amidst Pandemic, Drive-in Theaters see a Boom in Business

By Jaria Butler

Photography Editor

The movie theater industry was a big source of entertainment before the pandemic hit. Now lots of them are losing money and are in desperate need of clientele. Most AMC and Cinemark theaters have opened back up in our area following strict COVID-19 policies that can be accessed on their website. According to No Film School, AMC is joining the movie theater rental game. For just $99, you can host a personal screening for one, or make it a private party for up to 20 people in total. 

Junior Becca Kampmann expressed her opinion on AMC’s rental policy, commenting, “I think that’s a pretty good idea because [you can see a movie] with everyone you know and it helps the theater make money. I wouldn’t participate in it because that is a lot of money but for someone else, that’s a good idea if they are okay with the cost.”

Despite new safety guidelines, experts say movie theaters are high risk. According to Healthline, Dr. Vinisha Amin, a hospital medicine physician with the University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health, says that as more cities and counties think of opening their movie theaters, it’s important to note the medical data about how COVID-19 spreads: through respiratory droplets.

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Halloween During COVID-19: How One Family is Celebrating This Year

By Asziria Colbert

Staff Writer

Pictured Above: Keith Colbert as the Beast

It is sad to say that this will be the first year millions of people have to stay home for Halloween. COVID-19 has put a halt on almost everything for most families, specifically in regards to getting together for holidays, birthdays, and other special occasions.

Halloween is probably one of the most liked holidays because it is the one day of the year where people get to dress up, hang out with friends, and of course, get free candy. It leaves you to wonder how Halloween will still be celebrated with the “6 feet apart” and “Masks required” precautions.

There are people that are willing to go out and have fun in spite of our current reality, and my friends and I are some of those people. However, we will be celebrating with proper safety measures in place!

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How Stressed are Hammond Seniors about College Applications?

By Halimah Kargbo

Features Editor

Image Source: fastweb.com

Two words: 

College. Applications. 

These two simple words invoke both fear and excitement in high school seniors everywhere. Each year, seniors count down the days until their first application is due, and this year is no different. Despite the drastic changes in day to day life, the stress that comes with applying to college continues to loom large for seniors.

“The deadline seems to be approaching so quickly and with schoolwork, I feel like I don’t have enough time to do everything I need to,” senior Ada Wang says. This feeling of being overwhelmed is, unfortunately, not an unusual sentiment. 

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Activities to Do While Social Distancing: Having Fun While Staying Safe

By Melina Guth

News Editor

Source: Open Data Institute

Cabin fever, everyone suffers from it from time to time, however, it is worse for some more than others. A leisurely walk or bike ride around the neighborhood can be refreshing for your mind and body. But, the fun doesn’t have to stop there.

Are you an artist, chef, painter or writer? Now, more than ever, is a perfect time to get that creativity flowing and show off your artsy side, as well as improve on any skills you’re interested in gathering. Online schooling and social distancing doesn’t limit you to the computer or TV screen all day long. Studies by the Cleveland Clinic suggest that engagement in brain-stimulating activities, such as exercise, helps to “build your cognitive reserve”, simply meaning that regular activity can help improve your resilience and flexibility as a person.

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As Live Venues Remain Closed, Digital Theatre Takes Off

Digital recordings and live streams may be used even more in the future for theatre and concerts

By Isabel Sinnott

Staff Writer

Watch Ben Platt, Jordan Fisher, and the Casts of Dear Evan Hansen Sing 'You  Will Be Found' on James Corden's Late Late Show #HomeFest | Playbill

Ben Platt and the current cast of Dear Evan Hansen united in March to sing “You Will Be Found” on the Late Late Show with James Cordon (from playbill.com)

When the world shut down in March, live theatre and performances shut down with it. Broadway closed on March 13, and Hammond High School’s performance of The Addams Family shut down after only one performance on Thursday, March 12. 

At the start of quarantine, many actors and performers participated in cast reunions and livestreams, but as it has been clear live venues cannot simply reopen, artists have begun to look at ways to share theatre digitally. 

There have been several ways that theatre has been digitally shared in the past. Live recordings of performances, such as Newsies and more recently, Hamilton, have been released on streaming platforms. Recorded theatre gives audiences a different experience with theatre; Ana Coman, a student who has acted in the musicals at Hammond, stated “I feel like the echoes and vibrations that you feel in person would be lost.”

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Seniors Celebrate Their Year in a Pandemic-Friendly Way

By Sarah Linthicum

Staff Writer

Hammond High seniors gather at a local tree farm to celebrate the start of their senior year

Senior year is a special and memorable time in everyone’s life, and a big part of that involves all the events and activities planned throughout the year. Senior year prom, graduation, senior week, last homecoming, and probably one of the most memorable to our seniors is Hammond’s widely known spirit week. Unfortunately most of these events cannot take place this year due to the limitations put on events because of Covid-19, but that has not stopped our senior class from making the most of the situation. Although many of these activities cannot be held due to the circumstances, there have already been multiple events held in honor of the seniors, and many more to come. 

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Calling All Hammond Students: Rainbow Vision 2021 Submissions Now Open

By Uma Ribeiro

Editor-in-Chief

In May 2020, the first-ever edition of the Rainbow Vision literary magazine was released around the time of the first Howard County Rainbow Conference which occurred on May 15th. Copies of the magazine were free of charge and mailed to the homes of any conference attendees who requested a copy. 

The magazine, created by Hammond media specialist Ms. Danielle DuPuis and edited by Junior Uma Ribeiro, featured the artwork, creative writing, essays, personal narratives, song lyrics, and photography from high school students across Howard County. Submission content ranged from romance and LGBTQ+ pride to coming out experiences, family relationships, and politics. The magazine received dozens of submissions only in its first year, and submissions are now wide open again!

That’s right! Hammond students, as well as students from all other Howard County High Schools, are now able to submit their creative work to the Rainbow Vision literary magazine to be featured in the 2021 edition. All work must be submitted to the Rainbow Vision by March 1st, 2021 at the latest. However, students are encouraged to submit their work as soon as possible. There is no submission fee and most submissions are accepted. To learn more about submission guidelines click here. To access the submission form, click here.

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