PARKLAND, FL- As the Coronavirus spreads across the world, creating a global pandemonium, schools are shut down, including mine. This creates an immensely intense situation for me, and my fellow students, especially since I am in 5th grade. In March, I was looking forward to the end of the year – Pi Day with my amazing teacher Ms. Barnard, our 5th grade field trips to Boomer’s and the movies, Morning Announcements and Safety Patrol pizza party, Graduation, 5th grade celebration, and those last moments at Riverglades with friends that I’ve known my whole life.  On a casual Friday at school, I went through my day, completely negligent of Covid-19. I sat with friends, I learned in a normal way, and we went out to recess…but little did I know, I might NEVER again have a chance to play on a school playground again.  There is no playground time in middle school, high school, or college.  So, without even realizing it, I might have already played for the last time.  Multiple occasions, the County has assured us that they would reopen – first, they said April 15th, then possibly May 1st.  When I heard the dates, there was meaning in life again.  I LOVE school. The friends, amazing teachers, and just everything about being together and learning.  Not knowing if there will be a traditional end to the school year is torture. 

Now, what I am about to say is going to shock you. Doctors say that I might be a “test-a-holic”. I LOVE taking the FSAs.  I know that is unusual, but for me, I love the questions, the challenge, and seeing the scores come back.  All the major tests have been canceled, including my favorite test, the writing FSA. Even the Science FSA, which would have been a new experience for my grade level, has been canceled. The worst part is this virus’s chaos could extend into the next school year, preventing us from attending middle school. What started out as a simply rare sickness, evolved into a plague that is decimating the world’s population bit by bit, and forcing everyone into their homes, with vastly different educational experiences than we are used to.

Not only is student life changed during this plague, but it is also difficult for the people who work at our school, too. The teachers and principals have done many things to make us students happy, like a video full of letters saying how much all the educators miss us, and a hilarious video of our assistant principal, Mr. Duhart, reading Green Eggs and Ham with a comedic beginning, perfect voicing throughout, and a joy-filled smile. Everyone is trying to make us happy while the virus pandemic is closing in and putting students before everyone else to ensure and guarantee a fun-filled period of doing schoolwork at home. I guess this is the new normal for a while.

Lincoln Miller is a fifth-grade student at Riverglades Elementary School in Parkland.