2020 has been a year for the history books, with a global pandemic, an election, and hundreds of smaller events. As we enter the new year many are left to wonder, what’s 2021 going to be like? Will it get better and finally put an end to this pandemic and year of craziness, or is it going to be a round 2 of 2020 and have even more crazy world events and the ongoing effects of the pandemic.
For many students here at Davis, the most important changes that might come in 2021 are about school. Questions linger of whether activities like dances, assemblies, and other gatherings might be resumed because of a potential vaccine and increased availability of rapid testing for students at school.
This week the first doses of the newly approved Covid-19 vaccine are being administered to health care workers and the elderly.
With the vaccine comes a hope that soon we will be able to return to our everyday lives as they once were, almost an entire year ago. However, this hope may also be dangerous, it may take months to produce enough of the vaccine for everyone and there are segments of the population who are against taking the vaccine.
So this inflated sense of hope could lead to a sense that the rules are relaxed, but if people stop distancing and following covid guidelines than we may have the largest spike that we have seen yet.
Already, just days after the vaccine had been announced and started to be administered, we entered a soft closure on the last week before Christmas break.
So how do students feel, is 2021 going to be a glorious return to normalcy or another year of hectic shutdowns and battling a vicious virus?
“If I had to guess, 2021 will be a fairly normal year other than everyone waiting for something to go wrong every month. I would like to say a vaccine would be available by February or March but I could see it being May before the general public is vaccinated. The pandemic should realistically end this year unless something goes horribly wrong with the vaccine. School will probably shut down 1 or 2 more times, 3-4 at worst. We should definitely have more dances this up coming year, I would hate to have the juniors this year deal with what us seniors dealt with this year. As far as school policy goes I would not be surprised if schools in general became more aware of disease spread, implementing better precautions against that, but I do not believe we will return to school on Friday this year and hopefully for years to come. Having Fridays off I think really helps relieve stress from students that are usually overworked.” -Alex Arnesen, a senior at Davis High.
“I think 2021 will be fantastic, but we will be too paranoid to do anything. it’ll probably take a few months for the vaccine to be available out to everyone and unfortunately I think the school will shutdown about 13 times more till summer comes round. I would love to open up all the extracurriculars and for the dances to happen!! I WANT MY SENIOR PROM!!” -Marshal Jacobson, a senior at Davis High
“I think 2021 will be about struggling and change. It’ll be a year where we still have to learn to grow, adapt, and adjust! For the most part, I think the virus will be over. We’ll still deal with repercussions the rest of the year, and having to rebuild, but yes, I think everything will work out in the end. I could see if shutting down 2-3 more times but I do think extracurriculars should open up more. Without them, school is really rough. As far as dances go, as much as i love them, for safety, we should try to limit those. Maybe a dance near the end of the year to have a little fun, but not much else. I bet we will have masks the rest of the year unfortunately. Hybrid would be nice to return to, it worked really well (and we’re not shut down every other week). I think the current schedule is fine. But if we add back Friday, I think it’ll only get worse” -Nathan Peterson, a senior at Davis High
“I’d like to think 2021 will be a bit more boring than last year, though I expect with the inauguration and everything, things might start out a bit rocky. I don’t think the vaccine will be available for everyone until at least late summer. I think that the pandemic might slow down a bit, but those that don’t take the vaccine or aren’t able to yet will still be open to the virus, so it will take a bit until it fully leaves. I’m saying now as a complete guess we will shutdown four more times. As someone who is in charge of multiple clubs, I really really want extracurriculars to continue. I might as well be at home studying than at school if I don’t get to see those I care about as often as I used to. However, I also know that it’s not exactly going to keep numbers down if we do. I don’t know enough about sports to say much, but if we can just keep the same rules that we do during school hours (which seem to be doing okay?) and actually follow those rules? Then I’m hoping we’ll be okay. Until we can maintain under ten cases for at least a month or so, I don’t think the school should have a sponsored dance. That being said, I don’t doubt people will still have their own dances. But they can’t even get the student body to stop moshing during dances, and we know people are going to be within six feet without masks on, so if there’s going to be a school sponsored dance the Covid cases at this school is going to skyrocket. As long as these numbers are as high as they are, I really hope we continue to wear masks. While it was a bit weird at first, I think many people can agree that it’s become so much of a habit that it’s not as frustrating anymore. Part of me wants to stay this way purely because I don’t want to spend my last few months with my best friends seeing them only twice a week. However, I understand if we need to go back to hybrid. I’m hoping that the rising cases before break were due to holiday meetups and not proof that we need to go back to hybrid. I think I heard somewhere that the plan is to return to full week, including Fridays, with the new semester? But honestly at this point it could change at any moment. That being said, I don’t mind not having school on Fridays. It’s not as stressful, and, for me at least, my teachers treat it more as a catch up day for the week then assign more homework.” -Eliza Taylor, a senior at Davis High
It seems that overall there is a hesitant optimism among the students hoping that by the end of this year that we could truly see the end of this virus but shutdowns, spread, and cases remain a large threat prevalent in the minds of students for the rest of the school year.