Editor’s Note: moving forward


Benjamin Degear

In wake of the coronavirus, we find ourselves having to adapt.

Liam H. Flake, Co-Editor-In-Chief

Just a week ago, we were held in the constancy that is the routine of high school: wake up, go to school, stay up finishing up this project or that paper, repeat. This is the way of life that, in spite of snow days or spring breaks or monthly fire drills, we are ultimately unable to escape or avoid, nor do we necessarily think to. Over so many years we build on this constancy, creating our high school experience.

And honestly, in spite of the headlines, it seemed that this routine would last for at least another couple months.

However, in just a week, everything we know has fallen to shambles and the world with which we were familiar has been replaced by that of the coronavirus. As if overnight, theatres and gyms and restaurants are closed, toilet paper shelves are empty, and social interaction seems like a thing of the past. And, on a direct level, schools are closed (and replaced with “remote learning”) until at minimum April 17.

And this appears to be the new reality, with no signs of relenting.

We find ourselves having to adapt, forced to make ourselves comfortable in our homes as we prepare to settle in for a month or two. Life is adjusted to a reality which minimizes or eliminates social interaction. This changes everything.

Particularly as a senior, I mourn this. Every measure implemented is entirely necessary, and in the relative scheme of things, a month or two out of school is a minor price to pay. But, in our own microcosm, each moment lost seems monumental. There are eight weeks until graduation, eight more weeks to savor the remainder of our time in high school, to laugh with friends or attend one’s favorite clubs or crash at Five Guys after a sports game. As it stands, at least half of that time is gone, replaced by days and nights spent at home, alone.

So much of what filled the last quarter of high school seems threatened, if not already eliminated. Prom, graduation even, are things that students spend months or even years anticipating, envisioning all their glory, and yet their actuality now appears uncertain. For me, occupying the same category was the journalism National Convention trip in Nashville, as well my last season of Unified sports after four years.

The nature of senior year is a bittersweet series of lasts and goodbyes, celebrating and savoring each aspect of the high school experience as you know that, after so many years, it is your final round through. Part of the tragedy facing the class of 2020 is not simply losing some of these experiences ahead, but going through those lasts and goodbyes we had unaware that there will not be another, not knowing to appreciate and hold onto every moment as it passes unavoidably by.

As each and every person in Fossil Ridge (and, I suppose, America as a whole) finds themselves recalibrating to the world of social distancing and online learning, Etched in Stone too is thrown into a state of uncertainty. Content without school is not impossible, but given that our primary material is the coverage of events and events found within an operating school campus, the nature of our content as well as of our collaborative processes will be forced to change. In all honesty, the state of our paper moving forward is a matter of uncertainty, and will be something that we will have to adapt as we go along. Column writing becomes an increasingly appealing option, as does broader local coverage; Etched in Stone also commits to reporting whatever the community may need to know on the ever-evolving coronavirus situation. Whatever may come, rain or shine, our newspaper will adapt and move forward, and will always have all the school-related news that’s fit to print.

“These are the days of miracle and wonder.”

These verses, once sung by Paul Simon in “The Boy in the Bubble,” have always resonated with me; for no matter what days we live in, are they not always those of miracle and wonder? Every day, there are new, radical changes besetting our world, and each day feels as if it is the era of the extraordinary as if history is happening before our eyes.

The era of coronavirus is one that we will remember for the rest of our lives. More and more, the situation is dire and drastic, throwing the whole of our lives into the air; however, come what may, we will adapt and evolve, always moving inexorably forward.