2 Years Ago, Today


Spencer Ralph

The pandemic was a time for many people to explore new hobbies. For example, Spencer Ralph (’24) and his family did a project with chalk art in their newfound free time.

Two years. 730 days. 17520 hours. It’s a perplexing amount of time to wrap your mind around, and overall, I don’t think any of us are quite sure how to feel. “We just lost two years of normalcy,” Elise Watson (‘22) reflected. “It’s weird to think about.”

On Friday the 13th of March in 2020, Bishop’s students started off the day like any other: heading to advisory first thing in the morning. However, the news that would soon be delivered would change the course of everyone’s lives. That day, students across the country were released for a “two-week” break from school due to the outbreak of COVID-19. We all know how the story goes from there. Last Sunday, March 13th, marked the two year anniversary of our global pandemic. Right around this same time, the nation took monumental steps toward normalcy. On March 11, the indoor mask mandate in California was lifted, and on March 14, Bishop’s lifted its mask requirement as well.

For many, looking back on March of 2020 and the few months that followed feels nostalgic and confusing. “I have trouble remembering what I was like at the start of the pandemic,” Carley Chen (‘25) said. “I feel like I was so young.” This early era is characterized by a general naivety and misunderstanding of COVID-19. “We were all very ignorant at that point about what the rest of the pandemic would look like,” Elise said. Renee Wang (‘24) agreed. “I miss how carefree it was,” she said, “and the way we genuinely didn’t understand how much the pandemic would influence our lives.”

Perhaps this blissful ignorance is why memories of the first lockdown feel so bittersweet. It was a scary time, when many were grieving and the climbing numbers induced widespread fear for the uncertain future. However, simultaneously, many of us were content with staying home, and happy for the break from our normal lives. There was a sudden abundance of free time, and Zoom meetings hadn’t gotten old yet. Whether or not your personal trajectory of life during COVID-19 went downhill after these first few months, almost all of us have something we wish we could keep from this era.

“I miss having a lot of time at home,” reflected Chloe Shiue (‘24). At the time, her sister was a freshman in college, so Chloe was grateful for the extra time she got to spend with her. “It’s cliché, but I’m glad we got the family time,” she said.

Sharisa You (‘22) felt the same way about the extra time at home. “I’m definitely more of an introvert,” she explained. “So, being in my house all alone was nice for the first couple of weeks.” Sharisa also described how quarantine made her feel closer to her friends rather than separated. “Since we couldn’t see each other during the day and we didn’t all have classes together, my friends and I would make lunch and Zoom each other,” she remembered. “That maintaining our friendship made us a lot more close-knit, so that’s something I would keep.”

Additionally, school was much less of a burden during this period of time. “I miss pass-fail grades,” Renee laughed. As Carley recalled, “We would just wake up in our pajamas and go to school, and there was a lot less homework.” She missed the flexibility of her schedule, noting, “Now that we’re back in person, everything is a lot more strict.” 

If nothing else, the two-year mark proves how far we’ve all come. “The pandemic made me realize how important the relationships between people are,” said Andrew Perkins (‘24). “The social interactions that you get from going to school every day are just so crucial.” Whether or not you feel that the pandemic has directly affected you, there is certainly something to be said for the many ways it has brought us all together.

“It feels like we’re all ready to be done with the pandemic, but at the same time, we’re not emotionally prepared just because it’s been so long,” Renee summarized. “It’s just so surreal that it’s been two years.”