Finding a new normal amidst crisis

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Gov. Jay Inslee announced Monday that schools will close for the rest of the year. 

That means all those end-of-the-year activities like prom, senior award ceremonies and possibly even an in-person graduation will be canceled. 

High school seniors have worked so hard for these moments and memories that celebrate their achievements. Now, they are stuck at home, wondering what the future holds.  

While these are small sacrifices to make—especially when the consequences of large gatherings can be deadly right now—they still hurt. The future feels scary and unknown. Not only have schools been canceled for the rest of the year, but the governor spoke of the possibility that the start of school next September might look very, very different. But there is also hope that we, as a community, can create a new normal–one that offers opportunities for us to grow and find solace outside of our comfort zones.

I just went to the Port Townsend School District website and was amazed at the at-home learning resources they have. Kudos to the district for making this available for parents and students.

Necessity is indeed the mother of invention. Our living rooms have turned into classrooms and offices to run our businesses, and our schools, grocery stores and community spaces have transformed to protect us from the virus. I have no doubt that in this time of a “new normal,” we can find a way to celebrate the achievements of our students virtually. They have worked hard and deserve to be recognized for it.

I believe we will rise up and come out the other side inspired, altruistic and able to adapt to what the world throws our way–which, in the end, could be the most important lessons our high school seniors take with them.

(Donna Etchey is the publisher of the Port Townsend Leader.)

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