Editorial: returning to school looks different this year

Editorial: returning to school looks different this year

It has been a little over six months since The Suffolk Journal has published an official paper, and we’re all aware of how much the world has changed since. 

First and foremost, the COVID-19 pandemic swept the country in greater proportions than were ever expected. A national emergency was declared in March, and practically every school in the country was completely shut down by April. Suffolk students packed their bags and faced an unexpected end to a spring semester.

Over 6.65 million cases of the virus have been reported in the United States thus far, as well as 200,000 COVID-related deaths, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. 

This tragedy took over the world in ways that could have never been properly prepared for. Severe medical, economic and social problems have stemmed from the pandemic, as have other issues. 

Our way of life has been altered in so many ways. Wearing a face covering outside has become an essential form of social etiquette. Many jobs and schools are functioning online as opposed to being face to face.

For many students, college looks different this year as many freshmen step onto virtual campus for the first time. College is meant to be a time in life where young people learn to become a functioning member of society. They are away from home for the first time ever and meeting new people. Now many of us are left with Zoom being the only way to connect with one another. College campuses, for the most part, lay dormant.

The pandemic may have changed the way we learn and connect, but not our enthusiasm. Here at The Suffolk Journal, we encourage anyone who is able to attend our online meetings as the school year kicks off. There is no better way to reconnect with your college campus than to become a member of a new social group. Although we will not be printing papers any time soon, we will still be publishing all our articles online. We look to push full steam ahead. 

But this pandemic isn’t the only crucial moment in history we are currently facing. George Floyd was murdered in an act of police brutality that stemmed from systemic racism in May, and this egregious act was the straw that broke the camel’s back. A national uproar ensued in every major city in the country, and social reform was rightfully demanded.

The movements for racial justice have also played a part in changing the way we operate in society. Many of our eyes have been opened to the problems in this country. We at the Suffolk Journal implore that every member of the Suffolk community do their part in educating themselves and others about Black history, the issues that face Black and Indigenous people of color and how to be an ally through anti-racist actions. 

The Suffolk Journal staff feels electrified to kickoff the 2020-21 school year. It may not be traditional, but that does not make it worse. It is time to make the absolute best of what we have, and we hope you will, too.