Pandemic Album: Highlights from a time filled with lowlights

Looking back at the last two years through pictures

Tucker Paquette, Staff Writer

Our family’s new puppy, Charlie, stares at me while I snap a quick picture of him.
(Tucker Paquette)

Throughout this almost-two year stretch of sadness, illness and uncertainty, many people all over the world have had to deal with unimaginable heartache and tragedy. In fact, one would be hard-pressed to find too many individuals who haven’t encountered some sort of difficult obstacle. 

But naturally, there were also some not-so-bad (and even good!) things that took place during the past 22 odd months, and I was lucky enough to have several of my favorite traditions, hobbies and moments remain accessible. 

When one of our dogs passed away a few months ago, it left a significant void in our household (I’m an only child, so our pets get a fair deal of attention). So, we got another dog, a lovely-yet-energetic German Shepherd named Charlie to be a companion for us and for our Golden Retriever as well. He has brought bounds of delight to our family, even if he has a propensity for gnawing at items around our house.

The school’s bell schedule serves two purposes: it reminds me of where I’m headed next, and it reinforces my appreciation for school. (Submitted Tucker Paquette)

After so much time away from the school building during quarantine, I have a newfound appreciation for how much more in-depth the in-school experience, now that we are at ARHS every day. It is impossible to state how much I prefer in-person school to Zoom, as it got awfully tiresome sitting on a computer for school for almost seven hours a day.

My dad and I were happy to go to Patriots Training Camp at Gillette Stadium this past summer, after it was closed to the public in 2020 because of COVID-19 concerns.
(Tucker Paquette)

It was nice to return to Patriots Training Camp this summer, as it is one of my favorite things my dad and I do together. We were disappointed fans couldn’t come last year, but when we arrived this year, the atmosphere was just as lively as usual. We stayed for a few hours and got a glimpse of rookie quarterback Mac Jones, among others.

Mask-wearing doesn’t necessarily qualify as an ‘enjoyable’ aspect of pandemic-living in my mind, per say, but if it means I can be at school and able to see friends and family on a regular basis, then sign me up. Much like how it made me truly appreciate being in school on a consistent basis, a pandemic has a way of making you cherish time spent with good company.

While wearing a mask isn’t overly comfortable, it isn’t nearly as awkward as it was at the start of the pandemic.
(Tucker Paquette)

Serving as an outlet to ease my mind and get lost in gaming, my PlayStation 5 gave me great joy during the height of the pandemic (after I finally got one—it took a long time to find one available for purchase). And, as a matter of fact, my PS5 continues to provide me with entertainment. I especially like to hop on in the afternoons, after a day of hard work at school.

This controller, designed for use on the PlayStation 5, has spent a significant amount of time in my hands over the past year or so.
(Tucker Paquette)

At certain points it can be difficult to find the positives in life, especially when faced with terrible circumstances, like a global pandemic.

However, if we stop to reflect on how and why we are making it through these treacherous times, it suddenly becomes clear that our favorite parts of life are guiding us through the challenges we encounter. And if we keep sight of these good things, then the bad times become, well, less bad.