Early Goodbyes

COVID-19’s Impact on the Class of 2020

Lebanon+High+School+isn%27t+ever+the+same+without+its+students.+The+halls+and+parking+lots+are+abnormally+quiet.+Most+students+at+LHS+never+saw+this+coming.

Amber Ruble

Lebanon High School isn’t ever the same without its students. The halls and parking lots are abnormally quiet. Most students at LHS never saw this coming.

It was Friday, March 13, 2020, and it was a normal school day. Everyone went home on time, and went about their usual weekend schedule. The coronavirus, or COVID-19, was just something to joke about, something that would be gone soon, so everyone thought. But as the weekend went by, things got more serious. More and more schools began to close up for the next week. Still, students weren’t worried for LHS. In fact, many were hoping for a 2 week long spring break, and that’s exactly what they got. On Monday, during third period, Mr. Lowery made the announcement that everyone would be going home as normal, but would not be coming back to school until March 30. Most freshman, sophomores, and juniors were satisfied with this announcement, but the seniors took things a bit differently.

“After the first announcement, I was kinda confused and worried. I’m mostly worried that we will have to stay home and miss our senior prom. It’s scary when your school and all the surrounding schools close over a virus,” said senior Ashlynne Fohn.

Everyone tried making the most out of their spring break as they could. However, there was always the slight concern for the seniors that they wouldn’t be going back, and that March 13 was their last day of high school. But most tried to stay positive and tried to force themselves to believe they would go back on March 30. That’s when the second announcement was made. Students would not be returning to LHS until April 6. More and more events were getting cancelled. For choir students, this meant the cancellation of solo and ensemble competitions. Seniors were beginning to become more concerned about events to come.

“I was hoping this doesn’t affect any future events\; especially graduation and prom. I wasn’t worried at the original announcement, but later was more worried when school cancellations were extended,” said senior Dustin Bolt.

Still, everyone kept pushing on. There was still hope, and everyone clung to that hope. As Mr. Lowery mentioned, Prom and Graduation of 2020 were very important and he would do whatever it took to make those events happen if at all possible. COVID cases were growing to a larger and larger number, New York being the most devastated with thousands of cases and deaths.

In Lebanon, stores began closing at earlier times, restaurants switched from dine-in to to-go orders only, and rumors were spread about maybe going on lock-down. Some seniors chose to stay positive through these changes, while others were losing more and more hope. Then the third announcement came, and students would not be returning to school until at least April 30. Many seniors gave up hope at this point\; everyone became more upset, and just couldn’t see the light in the darkness. That’s when senior Ellee Douglas posted a positive message online.

“In Psalms 18, it says, ‘I will love thee, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer, my God, my strength, and whom I will trust. My buckler in the horn of my salvation, and my high-tower. I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised. So shall I be saved from mine enemies.’ And I feel like, yeah, we have so many enemies in this world but our biggest enemy right now is fear,” Douglas said in her video.

No matter what happens in this time of hardship, the LHS class of 2020 will stand together in this fight against COVID. Prom and graduation are hanging in the balance, but the seniors won’t let this stop them from pressing on. Even if these events do get cancelled, there is always the chance that they will be made up later on. COVID-19 is just a bump on the road called life, and it’s not over yet.