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On January 6th, a mass email announced that the Winter Formal Dance had been postponed. Originally scheduled for Friday, January 21st, this “Be Our Guest” themed dance, was delayed given surging COVID-19 cases. The email read, “In an abundance of caution, particularly given surging COVID-19 transmission rates in recent weeks, ABC Unified School District is asking all of its schools to postpone all dances and similar, close contact activities that can promote the spread of the virus.” While the email provides an explanation as to why the Winter Formal dance was postponed, it also begs the question: What comes next? Is there going to be a Winter Formal?
To answer this question, the Forum spoke to Class of 2024 President Leilani Choe and Class of 2024 Aubrey Costa. The two students had been responsible for planning the Formal. Speaking from their own individual opinions and perspective on the possible future about upcoming dances and events, Aubrey commented, “I think it would be difficult to postpone an event like Winter Formal, but we may be able to keep the same theme to use next year, or have a safer Winter Formal celebration to acknowledge the court such as a rally. School events in general will probably be a bit different in the meantime, but we are going to make the best of it and have our events to the safest extent for everyone at Gahr.” Even though the Winter Formal Dance is currently postponed, Leilani, Aubrey, and others are also finding ways to make the event safer for all students.
Leilani and Aubrey both agreed that school events might be a little different in the future, but how different? Safety precautions and restrictions have changed how we do events nowadays, and the Winter Formal might be changed in the future. Students were encouraged to wear masks, stay 6 feet apart, and limit close contact at the 2021 Homecoming Dance. Regulations like these and more could be required and enforced at future events to keep students and staff safe. When asked what upcoming events at Gahr might look like, Leilani answered, “In the future, I think events would be more on edge.” As opposed to dances in the past, students may be more concerned about the spread of Covid at events like the Winter Formal Dance. Changes in safety precautions could leave students feeling safer and more at ease during close-contact events.
Considering the unpredictability of what may arise with COVID-19 cases, we do not really have the big picture of what the future holds for school events like the Winter Formal. Despite this, the Class of 2024 is remaining hopeful as well as proposing other ways to execute the dance. Sophomore Class President Leilani stated, “I know it is for the best, so I am not upset about it, but I just hope we can still have it [Winter Formal] so students are happy.”As of right now, students can do their part and remain safe to contribute to the decrease of COVID-19 cases within our community.