2021 is finally here. Typically, the New Year is a time to start anew and set ambitious resolutions. But one thing has not changed since 2020—the COVID-19 pandemic is still raging across Massachusetts and all over the world, and we do not know when it will end. It has been difficult for me to comprehend the sheer number of lives taken and millions of livelihoods devastated by the virus. However, there are reasons to remain hopeful and appreciate those who have helped us through these tumultuous times.
First and foremost, vaccines are now being distributed and administered . The tireless efforts of those who have developed them cannot be understated. Normally, the research and development process spans years, but companies such as Pfizer and Moderna have expedited it significantly. Dedicated scientists and support teams have played an instrumental role in curbing any further spread of COVID-19, and Lexington is home to many of these professionals. To these parents, neighbors, or friends—thank you.
Meanwhile, the return to in-person schooling at Lexington High School has been facilitated by teachers, custodians, and countless other staff members. During the whirlwind of events in the past year, the administration laid out guidelines that enabled us students to continue to receive a quality education while ensuring the safety of students and staff alike. Custodians have been diligently cleaning and disinfecting the school with extra care while the guidance counselor team has created new avenues of communication to better address students’ needs during this challenging time. Most importantly, teachers have rapidly and successfully adapted to hybrid learning. Be it through sharing weekend highlights or leading show-and-tells, teachers have sought to strengthen social connections in the classroom. By going beyond the academic subjects they teach and caring for the social and emotional wellbeing of students, they have helped students rise above the Zoom fatigue and lack of in-person interactions caused by the pandemic.
Additionally, students may have gone to the wrong Zoom class, worn masks for long hours, or seen teachers kicked out of meetings due to laggy internet. While class start times have been pushed to 8:30 a.m, students have surreptitiously turned off their cameras to hide tired faces only to have their teachers call them out in front of their class. In all cases, LHS students have patiently dealt with these problems. Students continue to lead clubs, sports, and other activities, imbuing new energy and seeking opportunities to develop personally and intellectually. Individually, some have taken to the outdoors, while others have immersed themselves in the virtual worlds of video games. Students have also created news clubs from the likes of Aerospace Robotics to Virtual Vacations. All in all, the pandemic has brought out the strength of the student body to unify and enthusiastically face new challenges.
Few words can aptly describe how humanity will eventually overtake COVID-19. We may not “overcome” or “eradicate” the virus soon, but by appreciating those who exude positivity in our lives and celebrating our collective worth, we can push forward. I long for the day that masks will become souvenirs rather than protective gear. Until then, keep it up!