Hindsight 2020


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Students at HB reflect on the year 2020 and recount their experiences. With 2020 being a year full of challenges, most are happy to have it over with. “I wish that we could just scratch that from our years,” said Caylin Grove ‘21.

Kaitlyn Ferdinand, Head Editor

As we dive headfirst into the year 2021, let us take a moment to look back on the previous year.


The year 2020 had a good start. “My favorite part was January when everything was kind of ok,” said Caylin Grove ‘21. Grove began the year working at a library; however, when COVID-19 hit the U.S., everything started shutting down, and she was laid off. “I had to go find a new [job]…  now I work retail at Micheal’s.” 


Grove was far from being the only one to experience job loss due to the pandemic. According to The Commonwealth Fund, between February and June of 2020, the number of unemployed people in the U.S jumped from 2.0 million to 17.9 million.


Even if a particular store did not close down permanently or have to lay off employees, most still had to shut down for a brief period. “Between my work shutting down and me getting quarantined, it made working just absolutely more of a nightmare than usual,” said Leo Marandola ‘21, who works as a barista at Starbucks. Marandola had to quarantine in November due to coming in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19.


Quarantining seems to be, by far, the most challenging part of 2020 for most people. “I feel like I’ve gone insane from being at home 24/7 without contact from humans,” said Kirstin Warren ‘21, a student that chose to do remote-learning for the first half of the 2020-21 school year. 


Grove and Marandola had similar opinions. For them, quarantine was, by far, the worst part of the year. “I was just not ready for it,” said Grove. She continued, “We were just kind of tossed into the fire, and that was just a hot mess.” 


As 2020 has come to a close, one is left to wonder how 2021 will turn out. “Honestly, I am not betting on anything. I’m just letting it happen,” said Warren. Others are taking a more hopeful approach to the new year.


As vaccines for COVID-19 have started being distributed, Marandola has some hope that “stuff will slowly be starting to be less absolute chaos and more edging back to something resembling normal. At least by the end of the year.” 


Grove finds herself in the middle of hope and uncertainty. “I think it will be better if the vaccines get out [to the general public]… Or it will get worse over the summer if we don’t have vaccines because people will just be like ‘eh, who cares.’” In her time working retail, Grove has had to deal with several people who will not even wear masks. “So many people walk in the store like ‘I don’t believe in that’ or something.” 


While working at Starbucks, Marandola has had to deal with “anti-maskers” as well. “When [people are] not compliant with [safety] rules [it] means I potentially get Covid, [which is] even more infuriating.”


All in all, 2020 was a year full of hardship and challenge. Few would want to go through it again, and most people are just ready to keep on moving forward. “Overall it was a bad year, but we got through it. Hopefully, 2021 will be at least slightly better,” said Marandola. As bad as it was, 2020 is over now. We cannot change the past, but hopefully, we can make 2021 better than its predecessor.