The Virus Diary: March Madness
We've entered March 2021. It's been a year since this madness began and while there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel, it's still a long way until we emerge from that tunnel into the light of day. While everyone who wants a vaccine MAY be able to get one by the end of the summer, we also may be wearing masks into 2022. (Don't get me started on those who STILL won't wear them or wear them PROPERLY...why is it so difficult for the man who stocks the frozen veggie aisle at Shoprite to put it over his damned nose?)
It's been almost a year since our school system went into limbo. March 13, 2020 was the last day of what used to be normal. Although that was not completely normal as it turned into a half day and everything from lockers had to be removed. There would be two "snow" days to set up a remote system and the (wrong) assumption that things would go back to normal in 2 weeks. We all know that it didn't happen. Remote learning was here to stay. Schedules and days changed. The days got warmer. Can I even remember how the school year ended in June? It was still all remote, but how many hours were they doing? It was so long ago! (But it wasn't). I can barely remember that during the second semester of 2020 that all of my son's grades were P (pass) and thankfully not F (fail) because there were no grades. I mean who the heck knew what we were doing?
It wasn't until NOVEMBER of last year that he physically went back to high school…well sort of. With all of the work on the physical building, that's when groups (aka Cohorts) were allowed in for a (nearly) 5 hour day. There were stops and starts. There was a 2 week all remote schedule after the Christmas break and somewhere in there we went from 4 classes a day to 6 classes a day with the morning being hybrid and the afternoon (after a long lunch to allow kids who physically went to school to get home and have lunch) 2 remote classes. All the while the classes were rotating so that one day would be periods 1-6 and then the next would be 7-8, 1-4 and so on. (Is it any wonder I am going out of my mind?)
THEN, just last week, it was decided that instead of 3 cohorts (A-C), there were going to be 2 starting today. Why? Part of the reason (I think) is that only half of the school was using the hybrid. Half of the student body had opted to remain all remote. So there were classes where my son was the only kid physically there. By merging into 2 cohorts, there will be more students, but not that many more bodies.
Of course just days after this was announced the school had to be shut down for a day because 4 students tested positive. Contact tracing had to be done and the building re-cleaned (or more extensively cleaned? Who knows?) Everything was back to normal the next day (well as normal as they could be) and the appropriate students were quarantined. (And basketball was put on hold for several weeks.)
So here we are: March 1st and another new beginning at school. I drove my son and his girlfriend to school. Traffic was light as it has been since this pandemic began (I can get to the high school in 10 minutes or less, depending on the traffic lights. Last year this trek would have taken me at least 15 minutes.) There were a few kids outside the building, but it wasn't very busy at all; which is good (for safety) and not so good (kids are supposed to be hanging out together and it's sad that they can't)
I suppose with each step we get closer to what school used to be. But I wonder when school will be a full day of classrooms again? I know things will never look like the once did. They can't. As much as we'd all like to go back to the "good old days," those days are gone and we need to accept that. Education had changed and adapted. So have we.
These 12 months have been draining for us all. I know that we have it "good" when compared to others, but some days "good" isn't that good. We are all praying for some kind of settled normal.
Until we are able to reach that point; we just need to "roll with the flow where ever it goes" (thank you Michael Nesmith). And to conclude with one more song quote, remember, "some day we'll be together."