Published March 2021

Written by: Ruby Mitchell

A year ago on Friday, March 13, 2020, Algona High School students unknowingly left the building for the last time that school year.  Something happened that nobody in the school had experienced before: a rapidly spreading pandemic.  

On March 13, most students were anxious for what was to come.  Superstars and the Honors Banquet were the following week, and Prom was coming soon.  Surrounding schools had started to close, entire countries were shutting down, and people were dying from this virus.  Some teachers tried reassuring students, saying that school would be in session the following Monday and that there was nothing to worry about.  Other teachers knew what was coming and gave their students a Remind code and said goodbye.  AHS students Ruby Mitchell, Natalie Kleier, and Montgomery Halsrud went to the Mall of America that weekend and recall how empty it was and that masks were not worn.  Sophomore Montgomery Halsrud said, “It was pretty boring.”

Around 8pm on March 15, Algona schools announced that in-person learning would not take place for a minimum of four weeks.  Students had varying views on this, but one thing is for sure: no one knew what was going to happen next.  Most believed that they would return to school in April and that it would just be an extended spring break. Unfortunately, that was not the case.  Towards the end of the four weeks, it was announced that schools would not be opening back up for the remainder of the school year.  School work was optional, and many students chose to opt out of it, which was nice because a lot of students were stressed about the pandemic and how it would affect them, their family, and their peers.

Looking back to a year ago, the changes that people have made in their everyday lives is drastic.  The “new normals” of social distancing, masks, and staying inside has effects on everyone, whether it is physical or mental sickness. Hopefully COVID-19 is controlled soon, and we can enjoy the simpler times in life when we could visit and hug our loved ones without fearing a decline