With the Coronavirus pandemic provoking panic across the globe, the American Generation Z population experiences its first real crisis. With our own eyes, we are experiencing an all-encompassing, controversial, non-political issue which the country struggles to respond to, regardless of petty political sides. All this conversation, stocking up, closing down, all in pursuit to answer a question–“What should we do?”
One thing is clear. This is not a time for panic, but response.
As the world lives through this, we who were too young or not yet born to experience the horror of the country’s most recent disaster on Sept. 9, 2001, who thought self-inflicted teenage vaping was our greatest problem, are for the first time experiencing true loss of control. And it’s good for us.
How shameful to say that even this cloud has a silver-lining, but that’s the truth that the population needs to hear right now. We will get through this, more mature than we were before. How can we go on to complain about school and work tomorrow when it was taken away from us yesterday? The effort we were required to give before must now be transferred over into caring for ourselves and our family. It is the only and most valuable outlet available to us now.
The district has students now from preschool to seniors, but regardless of age or walk in life, the situation requires us to conjure up an adult maturity. Not a single one of us attempts to deal with this alone. Together we attempt to define “social distancing” and evaluate the need for “self-quarantine.” We have to turn off our autopilot and understand that we are dealing with something historic that is taking thousands of lives and frightening family members who can’t even hug each other. Every able person is called on at this time to look out for the elderly and the immune compromised. It’s simple. Call your family. Volunteer to buy groceries. Wash your hands.
In perspective, the world asks very little of us students. Do online classes and stay home (something we’ve been begging for ever since we can remember). Two things. We can do two things, which are both advised with our best interest in mind. Listen to the news and CDC guidelines, and take it a step further. We now make decisions as a country, and everyone must participate. Out of respect for yourself and our dedicated education system, realize we can do this. This world today has no space for skipping-class, “I-don’t-want-to-do-this” attitudes. We can finish this school year, e-learning or not.
The district, Superintendent Dr. Michael Goddard specifically, has appropriately responded with concern, caution, and progress, considering how to move forward in the midst of a months-long journey. Looking forward, students expectedly are hoping to get the most out of this last semester as possible. Even if just for a couple weeks, the student body craves to walk through the Lovejoy doors again this year. The complaints are over and the truth is out–we want and need school. Seniors specifically fear losing their last prom and only graduation, hoping that the events are scaled down and postponed rather than canceled. However, if that is not possible, we have to be ok with it. The bottom line is everyone is sacrificing, and if the class of 2020 has to sacrifice a dance and a boring ceremony in order to help slow a pandemic, then we should gladly endure.
Frankly, people everywhere are called to grow up and buckle down. Though the population is called to be more separate than ever before, we are together in doing so. This is today’s world, and though we will heal and grow, we will never fully return to the people we were before.