Homecoming and prom: Social events during a pandemic


photo illustration: Emma Clute


Socializing is a huge part of everyone’s lives, but especially high school students. While occasions such as homecoming and prom are usually events that students anticipate greatly during a normal school year, this year has been anything but normal, and the status of these social events during a global pandemic are unknown.

While at this point in time, a homecoming and/or prom dance can’t be completely eliminated from the realm of possibilities later in the school year, it is currently looking rather grim because everything would have to go right for the protocols to still be maintained. There must be strict guidelines and properly functioning technology to allow any major social gathering to happen.

Sophomore Class Cabinet adviser and orchestra teacher Lori Cornett said that they “will have to get creative” if any sort of plans are drawn up, and they will almost certainly look very different than years past. Air conditioning, for example, must also not break as it has in previous years if the events take place indoors because proper airflow also helps to control the virus, Cornett said.

The school is not at a point where it can have full attendance while maintaining safety guidelines, so it has not come to the point where any serious considerations have been made yet regarding homecoming and prom. The process of planning these events is not being rushed.

Cornett said she has not yet put together a Sophomore Class Cabinet due to the more hectic start to the school year than normal. However, once she has this group of students, she said she is “excited to see what ideas everyone has.”

Plans for the complete recreation of these events will also be up for grabs until something is settled upon in the future. For example, virtual or outdoor dances are two current thoughts.

“I believe that the possibility of outdoor or virtual homecoming/prom would be a great idea,” sophomore Luke Woolard said. “It would be better to host a modified event than to host nothing at all.”

It was seen on Berlin’s twitter page that they named a homecoming king and queen, so hopefully the ball can start rolling sooner rather than later here at Orange.

The likelihood of homecoming and prom may seem unlikely now, but it is still all up in the air. Even in the event that all events are cancelled, that does not mean the student culture at Orange will be broken; that will be determined by the students, Cornett said.

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