Participating in Senior Sunrise During the Age of COVID-19

Conner Callaway and Owen Vandiver host the first school sponsored event of the year in an effort to brighten up patriots current situation in the mists of COVID-19.
The senior sunrise is an annual affair at Patriot High school. Every year since it started, Patriot’s new Seniors woke up extra early to grab their friends. All seniors headed down to campus to watch the sunrise, and take pictures to post on social media. This year, however, there is an enormous elephant in the room: the impact of COVID -19. After the year ended abruptly in the spring, many questions were raised about what the 2020-2021 school year was going to look like. One of those questions was, are students going to be able to gather or have school spirited events ever again?
Seniors Owen Vandiver and Conner Callaway, wanted to answer that question.
“The Sunrise has been a long standing tradition at Patriot, so we wanted to do it, but we also knew it was going to be a challenge.” said Owen Vandiver.
Every year the Senior Sunrise and many other events are organized by the Patriot’s Red Nation Club. Due to the first semester being online, many clubs like Red Nation haven’t been reformed to account for this new virtual set up. Owen Vandiver and Conner Callaway took the situation into their own hands by organizing a Sunrise to gather the seniors back in September at the Patriot Parking lot.
With the growing worry of students’ health and safety, the rules for the event were outlined in the event invitation sent out through twitter.
“Our post on Twitter relayed the message for all those who were participating to bring a mask,” Conner said.
After the sunrise, the conversation of whether gathering during this time is an unnecessary luxury that the community can’t afford or that there is a need for people to congregate and share in some human interaction. Whatever one’s consensus is, seeing the execution of an event like this seemed to bring a breath of fresh air to the students involved.
“We enjoyed the sense of normalcy in this uncertain time, and we think everyone else did too” Connor said.
The word uncertainty is frequently brought up in discussions involving COVID-19, and the same should be done now. The fact that nobody knows what’s coming next scares people. Students, especially seniors, don’t know what’s to come this year or the years that follow. Having people that see the challenges everyone faces as an opportunity makes the future a little less scary.