BioTech Life Sciences
Last year on March 17th, the staff and students of Hubbard High School were given a two-week-long spring break, followed by an all call, in accordance with Governor DeWine’s ruling, which ended the rest of the school year abruptly and uncertainly. Students, teachers, parents and administrators alike were shocked and somewhat frightened by what became the first-ever pandemic quarantine. Junior Dominic Cheffo stated: “It was great at first, I had so much extra free time, and my YSU classes were on hold as well.” Students started making plans to have sleepovers with friends and even party through that first extended weekend. About a week later, a stay-at-home order was established in the state of Ohio. Only “essential” businesses and workers would be able to leave home and continue their jobs. For student Mckenzie Conger, the co-owner of FIREBEAN ESPRESSO, a Christian coffee shop in downtown Sharon, this shutdown worried both her and her family. Many small businesses like this one were able to survive by offering online deliveries or curbside pick-up. This is a pandemic trend that is probably here to stay. Conger felt that something else was instrumental in their survival though: “I was afraid that people would stop coming out to FIREBEAN, and we would be one of the small businesses closing down; however, I did not lose hope because I knew that I had someone who could help me conquer anything, and that is God.”
So it was faith that probably helped many get through the lockdown; but for others, viral trends, drive-through birthday parties, and zoom calls were their saviors. Viral trends, stemming from apps like TikTok, seemed to keep many students at Hubbard occupied, whether it was making whipped coffee or learning how to “say so,” a viral TikTok dance. Shows like the Netflix Originals such as Tiger King and Outerbanks started to boom in popularity. Tiger King was a documentary following a a man named Joe Exotic, owner of a big cat zoo, and Outerbanks was a teen romance adventure series filmed in the OBX. However, the quarantine was not all about relaxing and enjoying the slow-paced life while at home. For many students, their senior season of sports was canceled and some sports facilities closed down. For Kylee Bentley, Jiujitsu was an escape from the real world, and when her gym closed down for good, her coach had to move to Alaska with his family to work the family business in order to make ends meet. “They were like family, and for them to have to move their entire life and 3-year-old son was hard for me and the rest of the team,” Bentley said.
Other bad news for juniors and seniors became reality. The prom was now canceled. Most girls already had their dresses picked out and were starting to work on their tans, but the coronavirus forced other plans. Along with this disappointing news, seniors realized that an in-person graduation ceremony was not feasible, and so the best solution was to broadcast one on YouTube. Valedictorians still got to speak, just not to the ideal crowd in the ideal circumstances. Words of encouragement and strength were voiced by seniors to their peers about all the class of 2020 had been through. Most of these seniors had begun their lives with 9/11, and now, here they were struggling with adversity again, graduating amidst a pandemic. The Class of 2021 has missed most of their senior year since in-school learning didn’t reestablish strongly until the second semester. Senior Mia Perisa is a part-time YSU student and also attends HHS; she remarked: “Although this was not an ideal year, I feel that we could all benefit from this experience, by learning to live in the moment, and not wait to put anything off, as there may not be the next time.”
Now it seems that students and teachers, administrators and parents have come to the fatigue point with the virus. Fewer are willing to stay at home since vaccinations are available, and many are just plain tired of the whole pandemic. HHS students, like senior Perisa above, believe that we have turned a corner, and that day-by-day, the future is getting brighter, and the fear is dissipating. May we continue on this optimistic path, putting 2o20 far, far behind us.