COVID leeches fun out of school

With only two cases of COVID reported at Lakewood, isn’t it time for us to bring some fun back?


At the end of the day, life at school isn’t like anything we’ve ever experienced. Everyone is wearing masks, using hand sanitizer and Clorox wipes, standing six feet apart, eating lunch alone and fearing they might get COVID.

None of this has been easy, and the truth is none of us knows when things are going back to normal. It could be by the end of the year or in several years. Even if we have a vaccine, the effects from this pandemic may be felt for much longer than we had originally expected.

Currently, we have about 650 students and staff on campus. In the past three months, with all the transmitting of germs, only two cases have been reported. Considering there have been an average of 5,177 cases reported in Florida each day last week, we think that’s a pretty good track record for Lakewood. So why can’t we have some fun at school?

Having such good numbers hasn’t been without sacrifice: No lunch breaks, no Homecoming king or queen, no Spirit Week, no class color day, no celebrations for Halloween, no costumes – none of the things that make high school memorable and, well, interesting.

When we look back on high school, will we have positive experiences to reminisce about? COVID-19 has taken away so many of our social highlights, but we can’t let it take away our happiness, too. We need to bring some happiness back into school, something to once again brighten days and bring joy back into the environment.

Many of our normal school activities have been canceled, but the rules have not been applied uniformly. If football players can tackle each other on the field, soccer and basketball players can push each other around, why can’t we have class color day? Being in school is already dangerous enough, and we are not recommending we cancel athletics. But if sports are important, then so are our non-spit-swapping, sweat-exchanging activities.

We get it. It’s important to follow the protocols put in place: wash our hands, cover our faces and try to stay as separated as possible. But sanitation and emotional socialization can go hand in hand. Yes, we are farther apart than ever, but since when did something like distance keep humans from coming together? From ingenuity and creativity? There are ways to solve these problems. This pandemic has taught us to use the resources at our disposal to connect, not disconnect. We can be socially distanced and emotionally together at the same time.

Sharing our happiness and emotions has become so much more difficult when we can’t even see each other’s faces. But we are stronger than this, and we can find creative solutions. We don’t expect the county or Lakewood administration to have all the right answers. These are trying times, but the adults aren’t the only ones who have some possible solutions. Start asking your students what we think. Our answers may surprise you. When the wind blows, we shake, but it does not blow us over. The storm has come, are we going to let it tear us apart?