Senior Graduation During the Recovery of a Pandemic

How do current seniors feel about the preparation of their future during a time of uncertainty?

Veronica Brown, Staff Writer

The first known quarantine occurred in Ragusa (city-state of Dubrovnik) around 1377. First called trentine, all arrivals had to spend thirty days on the island of Lokrum before entering the city. Soon, thirty days became forty, and eventually, this act of isolation became what we call quarenta giorni or “quarantine”.

In the past, quarantine was an abnormality. Prescribed only in extreme cases and seemingly only referred to in apocalyptic situations- illnesses such as cholera, diphtheria, infectious tuberculosis, plague, smallpox, yellow fever, viral hemorrhagic fevers (i.e. Marburg, Ebola, and Crimean-Congo), and severe acute respiratory syndromes are the quarantinable diseases listed in the U.S. President’s Executive Order.

In 2019, the world was faced with a new rapidly spreading death: COVID-19. Quarantine was immediate and fast, vaccines were briskly researched and sought out, and the civilians of the world were left to wonder how to continue on with responsibility in a completely isolated society.

Eventually, life was lived online. Work, school, and other professional events were held on Zoom calls (a bustling Skype-like app that gained its popularity due to the Coronavirus pandemic), and social life was continued through social media and technology. 

Soon enough, retirement came, (socially distanced) graduation ensued, and the school year came to an end. 

Now, adaptation has become the main focus of our pandemic: how can we live in the real world alongside such a deadly and contagious virus? Schools are back in order (with some precautions), work is now available, and businesses are opening up. Students, though, have lost nearly two full years of their youth and time of preparation towards their future, and the problems with quarantine are moving to the forefront of their minds.

According to Zoey King, a senior at San Pasqual High School, one of the biggest challenges for graduating students today is their need to adapt again into on campus learning. One of the more uncomfortable situations for older students being the necessity of “adjusting to doing…literally everything on the computers,” King states. 

In the past, quarantine was a thought many never even had. But it was our only real defense against COVID, which was abrupt and quick to kill. As we near the end of another year lived Mr. Bobby Oliver, an English teacher at San Pasqual High School, leaves us off with words of genuine encouragement. “We don’t know what next year is going to  look like, but  we hope it’s going to be even better,” says Oliver. “Unfortunately it’s going to be [the class of 2023’s] senior year no matter what. So, no matter how different it is, how much it’s not what you guys want, it’s the only senior year you get, so you know, just make the best of it. Make some memories.”