The January Retrospective

With COVID dragging on into the second year, Immanuel Lutheran Christian Academy (ILCA) students and staff reexamine their past troubles of 2020 and shine a light on the hopes and concerns they had moving into 2021. 


In January of 2020, the hopes of ILCA students and staff were to continue living peacefully, as in 2019.


When asked about the goal for what was the new year at the time, ILCA Headmaster, Steven Zehender looked forward to the planning of the 2020 fall semesters stating he wanted a great second semester.


Senior, Ramsey, Al-Rawi had no goals set to fulfill, planning to continue as he had in 2019.


“I don’t like making New Year’s resolutions…I’m not fat, I don’t need to lose weight.” Al-Rawi stated.


Due to the spread of COVID taking nearly everyone by surprise, There was interest to see if anyone had seen COVID’s spread from China as inevitable.


Junior, Emily Farrell like many of her classmates, had not thought much about COVID in the early days of 2020. 


“I remember my class back in January we’re all sitting in U.S. History, and we were talking about how it was really bad in China, like ‘nah it’s never gonna come here,’” Farrel said. 


Al-Rawi shared the same surprise that became the major consensus of 2020.  


“I remember the stuff about it on the news before it got over here, watching it start in China then gradually make its way here, and then that person in Oklahoma died and we were all like, “Oh, it’s here.” Al-Rawi said. 


When asked about the vaccine, views differed in eagerness to get the vaccine, ranging from seeing it as the key to returning to the status quo, to a refusal to get the vaccine. 


Zhender seemed very accepting of the vaccine, stating that it was the key to normalcy, and getting slowly back to normal.


High school English teacher, cross county; and track coach, Dr. William Korver was on the side of caution but not an outright refusal.    


“Generally, I’m in favor of vaccines, I’m not advocating that folks don’t get it at all, but there is a little bit of concern about how quickly it was done through the urgency of the pandemic but (at) the same time, these are usually processes that take a long time. The red tape that was removed was there for a reason. “ Korver said. 


Al-Rawi was hesitant about the vaccine.


“No, I honestly don’t want to get a vaccine, at least until everyone else gets one, a year or two in. It just sounds scary. They say there is this giant disease that everyone is so scared of, so now all these people want a vaccine. I don’t know, it gives them an opportunity to do something with the vaccine,” Al-Rawi said. 


The question of if the pandemic would be over by January of 2022 were asked, statements given ranged from hopeful to skeptical.  


AL-Rawi’s statements were hopeful but accepting of reality if COVID were to take a seasonal turn.


“We can only hope so, but I don’t know, If anything I see COVID turning into something like the flu,” Al-Rawi stated.  


Zhender’s statements are hopeful but with the idea that suffering is part of God’s plan for the world. 


“In this world, we will always have trials, there will always be difficulty but we have the Lord leading and protecting us,” Zhender stated. 


At the beginning of the year, ILCA staff and students had planned to treat 2020 with normalcy, not thinking much of COVID early on in the year. COVID defining the year came as a surprise, with the vaccine also warranting caution for some staff and students. The hope that COVID would end by January 2021 has not come to pass, however, hope for the outcome of January 2021 still remains promising.