As we made peace with the shocking death of Kobe Bryant, the world was hit with a pandemic that still continues to take its toll on families everywhere. COVID-19 was being talked about on every news outlet around the world during the month of February; in fact the disease was so widespread in Italy, that church services at the Vatican were cancelled. Thousands lost their lives in countries such as Italy and China. When COVID-19 made its way to America in March, the entire country shut down. And for the first time in my career as an educator, classes moved to virtual learning. The change was sudden. COVID-19's impact affected the way schools functioned for years. And for the first time ever in our daily lives, we were required to wear face mask when out in public. We were constantly reminded to practice social distancing. Church services moved to virtual service instead of the face-to-face fellowship we were all so accustomed to. During the Spring, traditional graduations were either cancelled until a later date or moved to a virtual ceremony. For high school seniors, they weren't able to attend their high school prom. Yet in all of this, I saw people come up with creative ways to recognize graduates. Drive-by parades celebrating graduations, birthdays, etc. became popular during the month of May. It seemed like we were moving forward in spite of the set-back due to COVID-19.
But just as it seemed the country was moving forward, we were set back once again when the other plague rose its ugly head. Within months the world witnessed the senseless murders of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and Ahmaud Aubrey. Two of the victims were murdered by white "police officers", and one was murdered by a father and son duo who deemed themselves "vigilantes". In the case of Ahmaud Aubrey, it took 74 days, protest, and complete outrage before his murderers were arrested. While there were arrest made in George Floyd's murder, the killer has since been released on bond. And sadly no one has been arrested in the murder of Breonna Taylor. Racism , social and economic injustice continues to be the biggest plague in this country. While there are vaccines that have been developed to fight COVID-19, why has there not been a cure to end racism? As students watched all of these events unfold, it would be negligent to say they haven't been impacted in one way or another.
Indeed we have seen many challenges and loss during the year of 2020. But even with that, students have returned to school whether in person for a short period of time or they were all virtual during the Fall semester. Teachers, administrators, and families have learned to use technology in ways they never imagined they would have to. Holidays have continued even if on a smaller scale. And here we are, preparing to celebrate one of the most sacred holidays on the Christian calendar; the birthday of our Lord in Savior Jesus Christ. It's been a year unlike any other, yet we've been blessed to live to see another day. So as you prepare to usher in a New Year in the next couple of weeks, it is my prayer that you and your family be in good health. Have Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Until next time...go out there and be GREAT!