At this time last year, the Academy community was becoming accustomed to school life in the midst of a pandemic. Spotty zoom calls. The cancellation of spring sports. The rise of Tiger King. The demise of Tiger King. Family walks to escape the boredom of staying inside.
I would never have predicted that a year later, some of the strains of the pandemic would still linger. (No pun intended.) Back in April of 2020, some of us still thought we would be back to school in May and that this virus would be behind us.
But cases continued to rise, as did our anxieties and frustrations. We were coming to realize that all of the cherished traditions of spring at Academy would certainly be cancelled. No Prom, no state championship runs, no Convocation.
We have now endured more than a year of lockdown, with traditions adjusted to the realities of the pandemic.
Although these moments have been disappointing, I am grateful for what I’ve learned about the Academy community.
Whether behind a computer screen or an N-95, we have maintained the relationships that characterize the strength of our family. We have braced ourselves against an onslaught of uncertainties, and we have stayed vigilant in the face of our health protocols.
After all of this, we can finally see the end in sight. Faculty are fully vaccinated. Students are receiving their first shots. Despite the rapid spread of variants, we are equipped with the experience and knowledge to limit the chances of exposure.
To the seniors’ elation, we learned that Prom, while a modified-version, was on. More of our beloved traditions are becoming easier to visualize.
We have learned to see a smile in one another’s eyes and share an elbow-bump instead of a hug, but I’m looking forward to the moment when these practices are merely the relics of a pandemic world.
A new spring is upon us. It represents the end of a long, arduous winter. It is a renewal, like any other spring, but we shall move forward with a greater sense of shared hope and compassion.