COVID: A Look Back on the Year

As many people know, there has been a massive uprising of COVID cases in India. Recently the school has had to go online for at least two weeks, we will hopefully be back in hybrid mode on the 26th of April. On 19th of April, all teachers and faculty are getting a PCR COVID-19 test. The school decided to stay virtual for the rest of the school year (things change quickly with COVID). The first COVID case was recorded on January 27th, 2020 from a woman in Kerala, which means that in India we've had COVID affecting us for a year and 4 months. Things weren't too bad for the school and New Delhi in general but it didn't start affecting Delhi till early March, and it got worse from then. AES decided to go online on March 13th, 2020. It was supposed to be for a short amount of time but the world had other plans. After we went fully online a lot of families decided to go back to their home countries. Online schooling continued for the rest of the year and teachers started inventing fun ways of learning when students couldn't attend classes due to time difference or any other reasons. It was a struggle for students and teachers, this was completely different from what we were used to doing. As time went on, it did get easier, students started establishing routines for themselves and online classes started getting easier in the sense of them being online. Plus COVID cases started getting better. Students also had this new thing on Wednesday called “No New Work Wednesday” (In place of an early release at 2:30) meaning you didn’t get any new work, so you could get work from the previous days finished. This eventually evolved into having asynchronous assignments from 1234 days or 5678 days. When school started again in the fall, COVID cases were spiking. The school continued virtual classes for the time being. It wasn’t until November that the school started hybrid classes, this was an adjustment considering students staying home and doing classes online for so long, but many students we’re excited to start going to school again. Hybrid classes for the middle school went like this, half of the grade was either assigned Group A or Group B (students who stayed home were sometimes considered Group C) Group A would go to school, wearing masks and taking safety precautions on Monday and Tuesday while Group B stayed home and did online classes, and vice versa for Thursday and Friday. As this was happening, the cases in India did in fact start lowering from the astonishing amount of the first wave, and some restrictions were lifted. Things looked better than before and going to school was more fun than doing school online. We attended hybrid classes for about a month before the winter break where surprisingly, cases didn’t rise much. After winter break, everyone had a two-week quarantine to accommodate for traveling during the winter break. During this time everyone was fully online. Hybrid classes resumed after these two weeks as normal. January and February were quite good regarding COVID-19, COVID cases were the lowest they had been. They stayed below 15,000 which for India was the best it had been in a while. Many restrictions were lifted and things were getting back to some sense of normalcy. The beginning of March was still quite low with cases, around the 17th of March was when COVID started spiking on the graphs, hybrid continued. However, with the small spike in cases about the 20th of March, the school still decided to stay open and continue hybrid classes. That was until April 12th when COVID cases in India got so bad, that our school decided it would be appropriate to close school for 2 weeks before continuing hybrid. The hope was that after these two weeks of complete online schooling, that cases would lower to an amount for students to go back to school in a safe manner. Total online school was not completely unexpected but still a surprise. On the 26th of April, it was announced that we will be continuing online school for the rest of the year and will not be coming back to school as the cases in New Delhi, and our school had gotten to an unsafe amount for students to go back to school within a month. In addition to school completely closing for in-person schooling, many students from elementary, middle, and high school have left early for either summer break or forever. So, a lot has happened in the past 14 and a half months. We’ve gone online, hybrid back to online. When I started writing this article we were on our 2-week online period and were expected to go back to school on the 26th of April. Now we’re back to where we year a year ago; we’ve come full circle. It’s best to stay inside and if needed go outside with the proper mask and stay out of contact with anyone. See more stories from #Kiley here!

COVID: A Look Back on the Year