Pandemic Albums: A trip down memory lane

Looking back at the last two years through pictures

Riya Mahanta, News Editor

Near my friend’s house is a horse stable, so one day, we got to interact with the horses while on our nature walk.
(Submitted Riya Mahanta)

Can you believe we’re only a couple months away from the two-year mark of the initial COVID lockdown? A lot has changed within these two years—for the better and the worse. This time has been filled with first-times and new interests, as well as steps towards maintaining some level of normalcy. It seems like we are closer to the end of the pandemic than the beginning, so I’d like to recap what these past two years have been like for me. Let’s take a trip down memory lane.

This was my favorite print I painted, as it reminds me of my mom and aunt.
(Riya Mahanta)

At the beginning of quarantine, I found myself with a lot of free time. At first, my older sister and I started to go on walks outside, but later, my friends and I started going on walks as well. We called them “nature walks,” and we would try to go on them at least once a week. We would just talk, play music on a speaker and admire the local beauty of our towns. It was a safe, relaxing way to escape the stress and uncertainty the pandemic brought. Who ever thought talking walks with friends would become THE social activity of 2020.

I also started to paint in my free time. My favorite medium to paint with is acrylic on canvas. Painting wasn’t always easy, but it was always relaxing. I tried to paint as much as I could, whether it be gifts for my friends or paintings for my house. Now, I don’t have nearly as much time to paint, so at times I miss quarantine, where I could spend countless hours painting.

Vigil attendees hold up signs in support of Mikayla Miller and the Black Lives Matter movement in May 2021.
(Riya Mahanta)

Fast forward to May 2021, when things were starting to return to normal. People started leaving their houses more and meeting people they hadn’t seen since the beginning of the pandemic. I attended my first ever vigil for Hopkinton High School student Mikayla Miller. From the speakers to the incredible amount of people there, it was such an eye-opening experience overall. To see people coming together to fight against an injustice was amazing to witness and interesting to report on as well. I got to use my Harbinger Press Pass for the first time, which was exciting; it made me feel like more than just a kid who wrote for their high school newspaper.

My sister graduated from the Class of 2021 at Cornell University in May 2021.
(Riya Mahanta)

I’ll always be grateful for the pandemic, as it allowed me to spend time with my sister, whose college was remote. We went on drives, walks, Target runs and watched every med show on Netflix together. When her college announced they would be having an in-person graduation ceremony, I was so excited, but more excited for my sister. It was a reminder of how an entire year had passed in quarantine since my eighth grade graduation in June 2020. 

This is a picture of my Chemistry class with our teacher Dr. Ablaza; we always have funny class conversations and we even have our own mascot, a pink (microwavable and weighted) llama!
(Riya Mahanta)

I am so happy we are back in school and fully in-person. I enjoy seeing my friends and teachers every day rather than twice a week. Being in the classroom again is refreshing, as it takes away the stress of having to teach yourself. COVID-19 restrictions are less strict now than they were at the start, so I hope this pandemic comes to an end soon.