NLRHS Reflects on the One Year Pan-Anniversary

Brianna Young, Editor-In-Chief

On March 12, 2020, the students and staff of North Little Rock High School were informed over the intercom by Principal Scott Jennings that the school would shut down for two weeks due to the coronavirus pandemic, or what we now call COVID-19. Track meets, pageants, and other school-sponsored events were postponed. On that day, as one strolled through the halls, excitement was buzzing. One could hear students (and some teachers) cheering and celebrating, because they believed the shutdown would simply mean a slightly longer Spring Break. But, we never knew that the school wouldn’t open again until Mid-August. 


Even our Principal, Mr. Jennings was shocked. 


When the governor announced on March 12, 2020 that Pulaski County and three other counties would be closed until March 30, I never dreamed we would not return to school for the rest of the year,” Jennings explains. “I don’t think anyone thought about how significant and impactful the virus would turn out to be.” 


Most agreed it was unexpected. News of the virus impacting China had been circulating since December 2019, but not many knew that the virus would do this much damage and change life as we know it.


On March 12, 2020, Multi-Classroom Leader Courtney Taylor received a text from a new English teacher who had anticipated the pandemic saying, “It’s happening. Today.”


“I played my best Paul Revere, running from classroom to classroom, warning teachers that this may be our last class period,” says Taylor.


After the pandemic struck Arkansas, tissue paper and essential goods were flying from the shelves. Many stores were selling out of essential supplies due to the fact that many people were scared and ignorant of the virus. In fact, NLRHS MCL Adams Hicks and his wife, who had been monitoring the virus as it approached the United States, stocked up on dry goods, just in case.


While people were frantically searching for toilet paper and canned goods, students were realizing that the virus would also impact extra-curricular activities. Some were disappointed because extra curricular activities had been cancelled.


“The day we found out that we have to leave due to the pandemic was really bittersweet. We were getting ready for a track meet, and 15 minutes before they told us that the meet had been cancelled. We had to go back to our third period class,” Dyamyn Ware says.


When the pandemic first started, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued directives that seemed to make participating in sports impossible. Close contact sports eventually slowly started opening back up in June, though, with masks and social distancing.  However, a lot of playing time was lost for many teams.


Ware says, “Not having a track season after that was very depressing especially after practicing for so long, just not to be able show what we had been working hard for.”


When it was clear that we would not be returning to school, teachers started Zoom meets and virtual work which proved to be a struggle for many students. 


“The more and more the date got pushed back, it was really a struggle for me and my peers. At first it was pretty okay. The longer we were out of school, the work started piling up,” said Ware.


Ware is now a virtual student during the 2020-2021 school year, and she mentions that virtual learning is still very overwhelming.


It is now 2021 and the virus is still affecting the way we live today. A vaccination was recently created and given to many people. Though it seems the end of the pandemic is on the horizon, who knows what else is in store for this year.