Some perspective from a member of The Class of 2020

Brett Zimmerman, Staff Writer

In case you’ve been living under a proverbial rock, there’s this global pandemic involving the COVID-19 virus otherwise known as “coronavirus.” It has had a monumental impact on the global geopolitical climate and rattled the student body of not only LHS but the world.


This sentiment of being rattled rings particularly true for the class of 2020, of whom I am a member.


The virus has forced the cancellation of both Boys and Girls State basketball championships, Debate and Forensics National Tournaments, all spring sports, all spring activities, and as of March 17th Governor Laura Kelly decided it was best to shut down all school buildings in the state of Kansas.


There are many ramifications to such an action, most of which I am not properly equipped or qualified to comment on. There are many opinions surrounding the decision, but the general consensus coming from the class of 2020 is that this is a nightmare.


Now, let me be perfectly clear: for those personally affected by the virus and its abhorrent nature it’s been so much more than a nightmare. I cannot begin to fathom the pain that those who have lost loved ones have felt. I am in no shortage of perspective.


However, comparisons between different forms of grief is unhealthy. There seems to be two extreme sides of this dangerous comparative coin. Those who mourn the loss of their last few months of traditional high school as if it was the apocalypse, and those who write off the tears of broken hearted seniors as melodrama. One is just as insensitive as the other.


There needs to be some room for perspective in these unprecedented times. In that spirit, I decided it would be my duty as a student to share the perspective of a 2020 graduate on a platform other than Twitter.


It is beyond crushing that everything seniors have worked for on a 13 year-long journey lacks the resolution an odyssey like that warrants. Parts of that resolution include spring sports, prom, and most of all: a graduation ceremony. And while everything got cancelled for everybody, for seniors these unique sources of jubilation will not happen the way that we assumed they would, the way that they happened for everyone else.


Seniors have two worlds crumbling around them. Which is odd, to put it lightly. Those two worlds being the expansive world that has been impacted immensely by a global pandemic, and the world that consists of one’s immediate surroundings. Those who cover the goings-on of the expansive world are busy relaying information about the livelihood of real people. While myself, and others like myself, may sometimes fail to see the distinction between the two worlds and wonder why more people aren’t covering the potential inability for millions of students to walk across the stage in May. It is important that there is only understanding, rather than combativeness, among all who are dealing with strife of any kind during this crisis.


A lot of people need help right now. Helping those affected physically should always be priority number one when there is a threat this astronomical.


As seniors, we just need space to process potentially losing one of the most joyous times in our lives. That should be okay. We’re going through a lot. The class of 2020 needs support from wherever we can find it. We need to know that it’s okay to ask for help.