Pandemic Albums: From quarantine to semi-normal

Looking back at the last two years through pictures

Tisya Singh, Online Editor

Taken from our car, this photo is of a farm my family and I drove by on our road trip to Maine. Here, we saw cows grazing grass. (Tisya Singh)

It’s now 2022, and we’ve all been through a lot. From three variants of the coronavirus, quarantine, masks, vaccines and more, these past few years have been difficult. Still, they’ve forced us to live in a way we hadn’t expected, and not all of it was bad. Personally, I’ve had a fair share of good moments over the course of the pandemic, especially in the last couple of months, which have truly shaped my high school experience. 

This is a picture of my digital AP Language and Composition exam just 15 minutes before beginning.
(Tisya Singh)

Most of the main activities many of us had to resort to over the pandemic took place outdoors. For my family, this meant a lot of walks, hikes, picnics and car rides. Over the summer of 2021, we took a vacation up to Maine. Although we enjoy spending time outside, we often don’t get many chances due to our busy schedules. As we drove through the local roads, we were able to take our time and appreciate the nature around us. 

To accommodate safety regulations with COVID-19, many in-person activities were altered to virtual formats. Online school was a fairly universal experience, but when most AP exams were announced to be virtual, it was shocking. Although I had taken a shortened AP exam in spring of 2020, I was expected to take full-length exams just a foot away from my bed in 2021, which was definitely a unique experience. They didn’t really feel like official tests, as I was in my place of comfort, but the silent, isolated environment allowed me to concentrate better. I was just relieved each time I hit the blue submit button and was done.

My friends and I take a selfie at our locker on last day of junior year. We successfully got through our first full school year with COVID in 2021. (Submitted Tisya Singh)

Completing the 2020-2021 school year was a rollercoaster. It was not the junior year my friends and I had expected to have, but we got through it nonetheless. The primary difference was the mask mandate, as we can all be seen wearing our masks inside school. Just that quickly, the pandemic had taken up almost a year and a half of our high school experience, and we were onto our last. 

As COVID rates declined during the summer, precautions were put in place that allowed me to attend camp in a semi-normal manner. (Submitted Tisya Singh)

In summer of 2021, I was able to go to camp as a counselor, and it was one of the first almost-normal experiences I had since the start of the pandemic. Although we had to take COVID tests before leaving, the regulations were fairly lenient once we arrived, since all of us were staying within the same campground. Still, we were careful to monitor for symptoms and wear masks in large, indoor settings. It was a bit challenging to constantly remind the younger kids to follow these regulations, but they did a good job, and everyone ended up having a great time!

Our first in-person meeting of Asia Culture Club on September 15, 2021 after months of having to meet virtually. (Submitted Tisya Singh)

Over our junior year, four of my friends and I started an Asian Culture club at Algonquin. Due to the hybrid schedule, we had to resort to online meetings that usually consisted of only a couple members and silence. Now, with full in-person learning, we can hold normal meetings, which are a lot more interactive. Members socialize with one another, eat food and participate in group tasks such as lantern making. Our club has expanded greatly, and we are able to execute more of the activities we envisioned when initially starting the club.