A message to the class of 2020

As+weeks+pass+and+concerns+about+the+coronavirus+only+grow%2C+the+class+of+2020+must+wait+for+fate+to+decide+what+their+future+holds.

Cindy Parks via Pixabay, CC

As weeks pass and concerns about the coronavirus only grow, the class of 2020 must wait for fate to decide what their future holds.

Nate Martell, Staff Contributor

To the graduating class of 2020,

We entered the halls of high school three years ago filled with excitement and nervousness, not knowing what to expect. Now, we are at the top of the pyramid as the Class of 2020. The next chapter of our lives is about to begin in nearly two months–hopefully. 

One week ago, we walked out of school excited for spring break. We looked forward to the numerous memories we were about to make during this much-needed week of vacation. For some of us, we would be traveling to Mexico with a group of friends, or taking a trip to the sandy beaches of Florida to lay out and tan. Some of us would stay home, study a little, and hangout with our families. 

But then the news broke: due to the world-wide outbreak of COVID-19, we would not be returning to school until April 13. Our one week of spring break suddenly became a month-long recess. It is still up in the air whether we will return to school next month. The novel coronavirus continues to ravage communities, impounding its impact on individuals in all 50 states. The virus is growing in Iowa, and Scott County recently confirmed its first case of COVID-19, spiking fear in the hearts of Quad-Citians.

This is something we never could have imagined. The city of Bettendorf is shutting down. Restaurants, bars, casinos, movie theaters, and fitness centers are all closed temporarily. These are spots that impact our lives on a daily basis. Some of us may be out of a job, and some may be wondering when we can lift weights next. No matter the effect, it’s something we never could have expected.

Some of us may be filled with a rejoice of happiness knowing we have an extended spring break. Some of us may be filled with a sense of nervousness, not knowing how the rest of our senior year will play out. What about ACT and AP tests coming up? What will happen to senior prom? Are we going to walk to the stage at our graduation ceremony? Those are questions that simply cannot be answered at the moment.

We are living in a time of unprecedented events. It will no doubt make for one heck of a yearbook section. There are many unanswered questions and many more to come. Tough decisions will have to be made, but rest assured, it is for the health and well-being of the community. 

As we continue on with our lives, I urge you to be smart. Take the necessary precautions and practice healthy living. Wash your hands, don’t touch your face, and self-quarantine. This virus can have drastic effects on the elderly and those with asthma and diabetes. All of our grandparents are at a high-risk of mortality if they contract this virus. Everyone must play their crucial role of flattening the curve. 

Those of you that traveled during spring break, take extra precautions. The incubation period of this virus is one to fourteen days, meaning that is how long it takes before symptoms may arise. Our age-group is not immune to COVID-19, contrary to popular belief. We too may become statistics if we do not do our part. There are cases involving our age-group which have resulted in kids being placed in hospitals and even intensive care. High schoolers are susceptible to this deadly virus. 

The Class of 2020 was born into the 9/11 era, which reshaped the world. The Class of 2020 is now exiting senior year living in the midst of a world-wide pandemic. We are no strangers to uncertainty.”

Our lives are changing quicker than we ever could have imagined. This virus is impacting our lives and our families more than meets the eye. Be safe, be smart, and be healthy. Now is not the time for hanging out with friends and driving around. It is time to hangout at home, and have some alone time for once. Read a book, watch a Netflix series, and take a nap. Isolation will make a great difference in ending this virus’s outbreak. 

So to the Class of 2020, we are in one heck of a predicament. This is simply a bump in the road for us. It will all work out in the end if we use common sense and practice healthy living. I am sure you’re filled with copious amounts of emotion right now, and that is perfectly okay. Be emotional, cry a little, but know it can be over soon.

Take care of yourselves and your loved ones. Life is full of adversity, and we are learning how to handle that earlier than we expected. Rest assured that it will all work out in the end.