Ole Lammers / Edge columnist
Due to COVID-19, all public gatherings like graduations have been a challenge to plan for many schools around the world last year. Holding a graduation while abiding to social distancing guidelines is a difficult task. Graduations in 2020 were held online, but with the falling cases and vaccine deployment, what will they look like in 2021?
As COVID-19 became a large threat to the world in 2020, and social distancing requirements were put into place by governments, it became incredibly difficult for graduations to uphold their name as an event to remember for the rest of your life. While the event may be remembered, it is not for the reason it should be.
Graduations for many schools were converted to an online, prerecorded video that reads out student’s names with their pictures. This execution, in comparison to the whole year of 2020, will be pushed right under the memory rug, which students have confirmed.
“I didn’t get one,” said Lasse Lammers, who graduate in 2020, and whose graduation consisted of an online video that was posted online for families to view, and a photo booth set up at Lafarge Lake.
While everyone who experienced 2020 thought, or at least hoped, that the year will disappear from living memory forever, taking COVID-19 with it on New Year’s Eve, that is not what happened.
All of us have felt the continued impact of the pandemic in 2021, but with vaccines rolling out, and cases dropping, one could hope that graduation would return to normal, or that at least that this year schools would do something more memorable, even in difficult conditions.
Maple Ridge secondary school for example, will hold five different live ceremonies every day for four days with each being one hour long and serving 50 guests. Unfortunately, the limitations are that each graduate can only host two guests.
While this can offer a more memorable experience for students, many students have families larger than two people that want to be there in person, and not just watch a live stream.
This complicated process is all due to the BC PHO on gatherings and events, which all schools in Coquitlam and other places will have to comply with if they want to hold an in-person commencement ceremony.
It will still be a hard year for everyone, and it will take a long amount of time before we can return to what we is considered normal, until then, we will have to make this time memorable on our own.