Covid Silver Linings

Covid 19 turned everything on its head this year, but did some good things happen because of it? Mallika Chari ’22 tries to find some silver linings in the Covid 19 clouds.

Cloud+Silver+Lining

Mallika Chari, Editor

2020 brought a variety of changes for the Governor’s community. Most were uncomfortable: in-person learning was displaced by zoom squares on a computer screen, games and practices could not be conducted virtually, and perhaps most of all, being spread thousands of miles apart from peers could not replace being together as a community. We didn’t see the cherry blossom trees bloom behind Frost, we didn’t hunt each other down in assassin, and we didn’t get to watch as seniors jumped the wall at graduation.  

Still, Govs found ways to adjust. According to Director of Facilities, Tom Woodruff, “Given how steeped in tradition Govs is, I am most impressed with how we have improved upon our ability to adapt and react quickly to the ever-changing risks, and dynamics that COVID has brought into our community.” Govs proved its resilience and ability to modify tradition to the best possible outcome for everyone. One of Govs’ central traditions is Chapel Talks. Individuals from the senior class traditionally give chapel talks every Wednesday in front of the whole school. Unfortunately sitting shoulder to shoulder crammed into pews is not on the itinerary this year. Nevertheless, Govs allowed at least the senior class to listen to their classmates reflect on the journey they experienced together. The chapel talks don’t have the original charm and nerves of presenting in front of the whole school, but not to worry, everyone else is listening via Zoom,  even from 1,000 miles away. 

The most prominent positive change might be our relaxed dress code–new this year–which no longer requires the discomfort of colored pants and collared shirts or blouses. Students can now show up to school in whatever makes them comfortable. Leggings and blue jeans, once banned during the academic day, now show up on the Govs campus. Nevertheless, students still dress up on the spring days that hold a hint of summer in the breeze, donning skirts and dresses and smiles beneath our masks. 

There have been a variety of less visible changes that happened while the community was dispersed. First, “Covid has allowed us to be more intentional about trying to find ways to build connections within the community on campus,” remarked Ms. Kagwa, the Associate Dean of Students and Residential Life. The pause in our fast-paced way of life on campus allowed us many opportunities to consider how to make life on campus more comfortable for students. We’ve had the chance to really think about “what are those moments in time that we can bring the class together?” said Ms. Kagwa. 

Additionally, work and improvements that would have otherwise been pushed to the back burner were addressed by the Govs administration. Along with the beautiful new renovation to our French Student Center, Mr. Woodruff and the dining staff were able to renovate many dorms this past summer. Covid canceled the summer camps that traditionally occupy both dorms and the time of the dining services staff on campus during the summers. As a result, Mr. Woodruff remarks, “we used the time and the Dining Services team’s resources to repaint all nine dorms, and put new flooring in three of them as well.” 

These silver linings are certainly the result of a resilient community. As we look forward to in-person learning again in the fall, we can all appreciate the positive changes in the Govs community that will make our return to “normal” as comfortable as possible.