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Flashback Friday: March 2020

March 2020: The month the world froze. On this day one year ago, the Minersville Area School District held its last in-person day of school for the 2019-2020 schoolyear. Students were informed about a two-week suspension of classes, which inevitably expanded into four-weeks, then into six-weeks, etc. For the first time in Minersville history, spring sports, the annual musical, and the Junior/Senior prom were cancelled. Seniors were unable to participate in various “rights of passage,” including their senior trip, senior dinner, and senior picnic. Their graduation dates were also pushed back a few weeks later than usual. At the time of Minersville’s shutdown, the school was buzzing with activity. Just days before the closure, Minersville hosted the 2020 Schuylkill County Band concert. Additionally, the A.P. Biology class had recently worked on their spring clean-up project, and practice for baseball, softball, and track & field had commenced; the annual musical was just two weeks away from opening night.

One year later, Minersville has drastically transformed into an entirely different school. Students are required to wear masks, and socially distant throughout the building. Lunch tables are exclusive to a maximum of four kids per table. Wednesdays, the big “hump” of the week now provides a brief break for the students, who are required to only complete their work remotely, from home. Sports have continued, albeit with greater efforts to abide by Covid-guidelines. Just recently, the arts division has reopened, and the Academic League plans to participate in virtual matches later this month. Numerous clubs, however, have failed to return from their hiatus – the Art Club, Diversity Club, the Film Club, Life-Skills Club, S.A.D.D, and Teens Against Tobacco are among the many that have been indefinitely disbanded. Staff changes in the district has drastically changed, as well. A plethora of new teachers have joined the Minersville family, including the likes of Miss. Eremo, Mr. Gonzalez, Mr. Hartman, Mr. Parent, and Ms. S Williams. Despite its dramatic contrast to the building that it was just a year ago, the spirit of Minersville continues to thrive.

Italy was hit hard by the Coronavirus pandemic last March. One of the first things Giuseppe, the prime minister of Italy, did was close off the northern provinces in an attempt to limit the amount of travel between them and neighboring countries. Weeks later it was declared that all commercial activity other than supermarkets and pharmacies would close, before finally it was decided that citizens would be under restricted movement to prevent any more spread of the virus. 

While movie theatres around the world shut down, Pixar was on the precipice of releasing their twenty-second animated film. Onward is a fantasy-comedy starring Avenger actors Tom Holland and Chris Pratt, as well Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Octavia Spencer. The world in which Onward takes place in, is that of a “magical suburbia,” a land where the supernatural once dictated all that was until it gradually shifted into an industrialized community. Themes in the film include that of adventure, embracing heritage, and the power of brotherhood. Despite its creative world full of likable characters, Onward was a financial failure due to the lack of a proper theatrical screening. The film released on then-newly developed streaming platform, Disney+ to a lukewarm response. The studio’s follow-up film in December, Soul, made up for the unenthusiastic reception to Onward, receiving near-universal praise amongst audiences.

Shortly after the pandemic began, a riot broke out in a Colombian prison. The panic was prompted over coronavirus fears, leaving twenty-three dead. According to CNN, “there was a ‘massive and criminal escape attempt’ at the Bogota’s La Modelo prison.” This prison is one of the country’s most overpopulated prisons; according to Justice Minister, Margarita Cabello, there were additional revolts at various penitentiary centers throughout the country. The prisoners’ efforts to escape were futile, as nobody successfully broke out.

 North Korea fired an unidentified projectile into the sea off the coast of Japan last march, the sixth launch by the Kim Jong Un regime in less than a month. Japan’s Self Defense Force said in a statement that the missile had landed outside the country’s Exclusive Economic Zone, which extends 200 nautical miles from Japan’s shores. As North Korea and their regime get more and more bold with testing the boundaries with neighboring countries the rest of the world debates on whether it is their responsibility to step in.

Writers: Micah Borrelli & Lucas Hydock


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