By Natalie Mack, news editor
Now that it’s 2022, we’re just about at the two year mark since Covid began to affect the US, and more specifically, Nantucket. To say it has been a roller coaster ride with this virus would be totally accurate. For me personally, on Nantucket, there have been so many different stages of this virus affecting us.
I remember in the beginning of March 2020, we were in my Algebra 1 class and ended up talking about this new virus for the entire class, completely oblivious to the fact that in a few short weeks we would not be back in the classroom because of it. At the time, I along with many other students at Nantucket High School were getting ready to open the spring musical, “Mary Poppins,” one that we had worked tirelessly on and were very excited to perform. On March 13th, just a few hours before we needed to be ready to perform, I’ll never forget receiving a text from one of my castmates that stated, “Read the email”. I quickly clicked over to my email. It was from our principal stating that our performances would not happen due to the virus outbreak.
Thousands of texts from my castmates began to come in. We all decided to meet at the school, and figure out what was going on, hoping our director would know more. Once we arrived we all sat together on the stage, as the superintendent of our schools explained to us the situation. He told us we could perform the show for the school the following day, as school had not been canceled yet. The news was disappointing, but better than nothing.
That night, my family and I went to the grocery store, thinking we should stock up, in case anything got worse. I remember wearing a pair of winter gloves going into the store because I was scared to touch anything. It’s crazy to look back on that now. Wandering through the aisles of Stop and Shop, I remember having a moment. I looked around, mostly everything was off the shelf, there were people everywhere. It was pure chaos. With the musical being canceled, and rumors of school canceling, and the chaos at the grocery store, I realized this was getting bad.
Following this day, there were many other ups and downs. School was canceled for 2 weeks, then three, then until May, and then we went online. Then came going back to school the following school-year and being remote. At least for Nantucket, it seemed the sovereignty of the virus came and left. Some months we had a large number of cases, some months we did not, and I myself became more relaxed and less worried about it. However, right now, with the new Omicron variant of COVID, the virus seems to be spreading more rapidly. According to the CDC, “The Omicron variant likely will spread more easily than the original SARS-CoV-2 virus and how easily Omicron spreads compared to Delta remains unknown. CDC expects that anyone with Omicron infection can spread the virus to others, even if they are vaccinated or don’t have symptoms.”
Throughout these two years, I have kept thinking, just when you think it’s getting better, it gets worse. This statement has been proving to be true recently especially with the newest variant of the virus, causing cases to rise on the island, especially within the school system.
Seeing posts about off-island schools sports programs shutting down, talk about wanting to go online, many missing students and teachers from classes, parents not letting their children hang out with their friends is unnervingly reminding me of March 2020. Although I, as well as the rest of the world knows much more about this virus and how it works, it still gives me the same feelings it did back in March of 2020. Uncertainty, and fear of what life might look like.
However, I do feel that one thing has come out of all of this that is positive: we are all in this together. I do think that what we have been through and are continuing to go through, has brought us closer together as a world. Although people have different opinions on the vaccine and virus itself, I don’t think there’s any escaping the fear and frustration we all have felt at some point within these two years. Just as we’ve been doing, we can only continue to do the right thing and wait for things to get better. And that’s my view on the pandemic, two years in.