It’s been a year of adjustments


Students in Patrick Vaughn’s virtual chorus class work together to make music.

When Fairfax County closed all public schools for a minimum of two weeks in response to the outbreak COVID-19.
Students were thrilled as they looked forward to what seemed to be just an extended spring break. Many, at first, would embrace the chance to stay at home and relax.
What seemed to be a brief break from classwork, jobs and responsibilities slowly became less welcomed as months of social distancing piled on.
The realization of an extended quarantine gradually set into the lives of millions worldwide. Though the virus was not as hostile to global health as the Black Plague, the effects of the Coronavirus are certain to have changed the world.
The implementation of face masks stands as one of the largest adjustments in our daily activities concerning the pandemic.
Because of the virus, face masks are now an essential part of our lives just as items such as cell phones and car keys. Simple tasks like going to the grocery store cannot go by without the thought of packing a mask.
Activities related to physical health bear the effect of the virus as well.
“I wear a mask in the gym while I’m getting huge, so it is a different experience” senior Jason Kim said, describing his gym experience throughout COVID-19. “It’s just something I had to get used to.”
Education faced major challenges as a result of coronavirus. The United Nations cited that the COVID-19 pandemic has created the largest disruption of the education systems in history in over 190 countries and all continents.
FCPS was to instruct the entire county to launch the concept of a remote learning system for the first time.
“It was like being a first year teacher all over again,” Music Teacher and Choir Director Patrick Vaughn said. “Teachers of the county felt like we had to relearn how to teach.”
The process was extremely difficult for Annandale’s performing arts program as it was impossible to have effective ensemble rehearsals online.
“Although we have learned to maintain school days virtually, I hope in the future the county will still hold its traditional snowdays for the sake of family values,” Vaughn said.
Despite the negative effects of COVID-19, many saw quarantine as an opportunity to achieve what they may not usually have time for such as cooking, spending time with immediate family, exercising and getting organized.
The phenomenon of Zoom virtually brought together families and friends to check in on one another throughout the year more often than usual. Older generations had no choice but to adapt to new technology due to quarantine.
Younger generations thrived on social media platforms and applications such as Snapchat, Discord and TikTok to entertain, communicate and digitally spend time with one another. COVID-19 truly allowed the world to be brought together virtually in the safety of their own homes.
There was a major relief from the stress of school allowing students to grasp a steady pace in terms of schoolwork.
“It made me enjoy school more actually and stress a whole lot less,” junior Audrey Barnes said. “I just really enjoyed how online school feels.”
Still, now that most strive to retain normalcy, many are scarred by the negative effects of the pandemic. The United States alone has faced an estimated number of half a million lives lost to COVID-19.
One year ago from March 2021, no one could have imagined to what extent lives would be reshaped having experienced a pandemic.