Why Class of 2020 Seniors Are Facing Similar Circumstances to Those During Hurricane Katrina


Courtesy of Etsy, CDC, and Michael Appleton/NY Daily News Archive/Getty Images

The class of 2020 seniors are facing experiences that many high school senior Hurricane Katrina survivors dealt with.

Stephen Serrano, Section Editor

Quarantine. Coronavirus. These two words just determined the rest of senior year for our class of 2020 seniors. With the cancellation of school meaning no senior activities such as prom, Morp, Senior Breakfast, Senior Farewell Rally, and of course, graduation. This is the first time in a generation that seniors nationwide would not get the celebration they have been waiting for four years for.


Especially in the 21st century, there has not really been an event that expresses the magnitude affecting all aspects of life. The closest scenario may look to the students who were in the midst of their senior years in Louisiana, during Hurricane Katrina. Even though Hurricane Katrina was a natural disaster and coronavirus (COVID-19) is a virus, 


According to an article by the Washington Post, “the 2020 Teacher of the Year from Louisiana”, Chris Dier, had experienced a similar occurrence in his senior year of high school during Hurricane Katrina. He had written a letter to high school seniors across the country telling them to be strong and courageous during this uncertain time.


Further in his letter, Dier explains that during a time like this seniors should “commiserate with one another” because everyone is dealing with the same challenges. Instead of using quarantine as a time to be sad, seniors should use their emotions to fuel their “resilience and [therefore be] innovative.”


Much can be taken away from his letter and this article resonates with the class of 2020 everywhere. 


One main idea taken away from this is to be strong and trust that circumstances will be better in the future. Quarantine may be a drag and the first major setback in many people’s lives, but this can give people the inspiration to not wait to take a risk for something they have always wanted to do. Because there is so much time spent alone in isolation, numerous have realized that opportunities to follow their dreams are limited when the entire world is affected. 


Just like the seniors that faced the deadly, brutal hurricane in 2005, the class of 2020 seniors during COVID-19 will come back from adversity and help revolutionize the world when the time comes. Agreeing that the senior class and the world will recover from this pandemic, Claire Yum (12) believes that “no matter when the coronavirus is over, us seniors will make our impact at one time or another.” With the rest of 2020 still uncertain, all we can do is stay hopeful, healthy, and strong.