Contributor

The Fate of ELHS’ Favorite Tradition

COVID-19 impacts spirit week: one of the most anticipated events of the year postponed at best

Kennedy Holsapple

Spirit Week is a time for ELHS students to show their school spirit through five days
jam-packed with colorful tutus, castles in the commons, and Viking pride. Teens
compete in thrilling events, raise money for chosen causes, and take an excessive amount
of pictures. This is the Spirit Week everyone knows and loves, but this year might look a little different. Seniors might have to trade in their traditional blue for black if they have to mourn the loss of yet another significant senior event. “Are we hopeful we can do something? Yes. Have we started planning something? Not yet,” said ELHS principal Deb Roselli- Kelly. She hopes the school will be able to have some form of Spirit
Week in the spring, but with COVID-19’s unpredictability, there is hesitation to plan an event while the district is still figuring out new ways of learning. This uncertainty worries students who are afraid they may never have another Spirit Week again.
“This is our senior year–what everyone, starting freshman year, thinks about. This is our year to shine, and unfortunately there’s a chance we don’t even get that opportunity,” said senior Tucker Mazzulli.
Students anticipate the year they battle other classes and dominate the competition.
Looking on the bright side is easier said than done. But the risk of COVID-19 makes staff and students alike nervous.
“If [the COVID-19 situation improves], then I wouldn’t be concerned. But if it doesn’t change, and it’s still here, and it’s still bad, I’d be a little concerned,” said freshman Aranza Torres, who was looking forward to dressing up the most.
The balance between safe and fun is difficult to achieve. After what Torres has heard from her older sister, a senior, she believes Spirit Week will definitely need some tweaks.
“Until we are able to be here, either 100 percent or consistently for a period of time, we wouldn’t be bringing people together like [usual], especially for the [pep rally],” said Ms. Kelly. Numerous activities
will be modified or canceled altogether in order to accommodate the state and local health guidelines.
Mazzulli said the morning news show is contemplating “class games or Olympics” where they would hold a partial socially- distant pep rally through the morning news.

The student senate was planning a dress- up week in October, which ultimately got canceled due to the two-week shutdown. Multiple other COVID-19-safe ideas have been circling around as possible alternatives,
depending on what condition East Lyme is in by the time spring hits. “I’m pretty optimistic. You gotta have
that attitude, or everything will go down,” said Mazzulli.

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