The unexpected losses of the coronavirus


Justin Leggett

A picture of me, trying to remember what it felt like to eat lunch in the school cafeteria with a bit of improvising.

Jade Lukaszczyk, Staff Reporter

It was a normal Thursday at LDHS. We were all excited to finish up our last class of the day and go home because this weekend was not just a long weekend, it was an extra long weekend. We would not come back to school until Tuesday; that’s TWO more days than normal. Everyone would hunker down for the weekend, having no idea they would be “quarantined” for another two months.

 We had all heard on the news of this new virus going around, but most of us never believed it would become a big problem, at least not for Laurens or South Carolina in general. Even if something did happen and we had to get out of school, there’s no way it would be longer than a week or two. Here I was worried about getting the spring break I took off from work, hoping for some free days for once, having no idea that at this point every day would be a free day. 

I think we can all agree when we say that the end of the 2019-2020 school year was very abrupt. One day you are like me, waking up late and having to run to first period, eating a PB&J for breakfast, making art in second period, eating chicken nuggets and milk for lunch, hearing my economics teacher rant about people, going home and repeating it over and over. And all of a sudden it never happens again. There was no last day, there was no goodbye, and there will be no “next year” for seniors. All of a sudden you are doing everything through Docs and Google Classroom, and other students and I can struggle to learn or be productive by only staring at a screen and typing.

For all of my life, my sole job was being a student. My full-time occupation. My purpose was to wake up every morning, get dressed and get to learning. And you know when you become a senior, it is the last hurrah. Some go to college; some don’t, but even if you do, it is not the same as high school. Everyone is here together; you still get told what to do; you still HAVE to go. You spend time with friends you grew up with and deal with stupid worries like how long till lunch or dates for dances. 

When I was a sophomore, I had a class with and became pretty close to some seniors. I knew I would have to go to class for a few weeks without them, and I would not have a class with them next year, but we still grew close. When it was their last day we all cried, took photos, made plans for the summer and said bye. They got a senior prom, something a lot of people spend weeks, a lot of money and a full day getting ready for. They got their traditional graduation in the school gym. They got their senior celebration, a yearbook signing, graduation practice. And we get no prom, a graduation outside –spaced out outside — a senior signing video shared online, picking up yearbooks in the car loop. 

Before COVID-19 sent us all home, waking up for school every day was my goal. My goal was to wake up and work. And even if the virus and getting out of school without notice did not happen, that would not have changed much in the end. But like I said before, the end of school was so abrupt. And it’s not like I could go out and have fun. You have the government telling you not to leave the house unless you have to, so you just call your friends and go through the drive through and lie in bed all day binging Netflix. Maybe some people were productive, but I feel like the majority agrees with the less productive option. 

It kind of gets you down when you wake up and go, “So what next?” Many people are not comfortable being at home, and now they have no choice. 

It was just a normal Thursday, with a long weekend right around the corner, and now I will never walk the halls of LDHS as a student again. I will not get the graduation many had before me, but I will get a graduation. And maybe one day when I look back, all these problems that seem so big now won’t be so important. What truly matters in the end is that for four years I was a student at LDHS — someone who had spent years of work to have a brighter future — and I graduated.