No Turnabout ’22?

No Turnabout 22?

As the class of ‘22, saying that we have suffered a lot of disappointment due to COVID-19 in our high school career would be the understatement of the year. We endured almost our entire junior year online. Homecoming? Not a chance. Turnabout or Prom? Don’t even think about it.

As a senior, I haven’t had the opportunity to attend the Turnabout dance since my sophomore year and I, personally, was extremely excited to have fun at Turnabout as a senior and enjoy one of the last high school dances I will ever attend. 

Now I know you’re probably thinking, well we still have Prom to look forward to, but with the uncertainty of Covid and administration’s decisions who knows what will happen.

But even so, in a recent newsletter you’ll find that the Turnabout Dance of ‘22 has been canceled due to the spread of COVID-19.

When I first heard of Turnabout being canceled, that all too familiar wave of COVID-related disappointment rushed over me, realizing that the dance I attended Sophomore year will be the last Turnabout I could ever attend.  But then I began to question: why was the dance actually canceled?

In the newsletter from the H-F administration it stated that, “Due to the recent increase in the pandemic positivity rate and mandatory quarantining, H-F has decided to cancel this year’s Turnabout Dance.”

While an increase in the spread of Covid-19 is definitely a reason for more people to be staying home, there are some things to question here.

First, the COVID positivity rates at H-F are actually down right now. According to H-F’s COVID Dashboard on the H-F website, positivity rates from the week of Jan. 11 to Jan. 17 alone have gone down from 11.74% to 8.46%. And if you take a look at an even more recent date, you’ll see that as of Jan. 21 the rolling average positivity rate for the H-F community is down to 4.38%. 

And even if these statistics are not enough, why is it that H-F has zero scheduling restrictions for all sports teams including indoor sports such as basketball and swimming? According to the IHSA’s COVID-19 regulations, all Illinois school sports are currently in phase five, a phase that doesn’t require schools to restrict scheduling games or limiting the number of spectators. 

 If the COVID positivity rates are rising, then why is every Illinois school in the highest phase for sports? With no restrictions on scheduling or who can attend these games, gyms and indoor spaces are packed with spectators and unmasked athletes multiple times a week.

So I ask, if this dance is canceled due to an increase in positivity rates, how is H-F in phase five for sports according to the IHSA, including indoor sports?

Also, I begin to wonder, if we can’t all be in a building together one night for a dance, why is it that we go to school in-person with each other everyday? We walk in crowded hallways, sit in close proximity to each other at lunch (especially in the gym), and take the crowded bus together every single school day. 

If you ask me, I believe that the ‘22 Turnabout Dance should have been held this year with some restrictions to keep everyone safe. It seems as if H-F didn’t even consider the many possibilities there are to keep the dance a safe environment.

It could have been made an upperclassmen only event, seeing as we’ve missed so much our high school career. Or, vaccines and masks could have been required for attending the dance, vaccine cards checked with the purchase of a ticket. Even the fact that this dance is an optional event means that any students or families that are uncomfortable with being at the dance have no obligation to go. 

Highschool dances are something that people look forward to their whole lives leading up to them. I know that I’ve been wondering what my Prom dress will look like since I was old enough to understand what a prom was. These dances aren’t just a fun thing that most people don’t even care about, but a lasting experience that you’ll tell your kids about one day. 

Overall, seeing as positivity rates at H-F are actually recently down in numbers, sporting events are in the highest phase possible with zero scheduling restrictions and just the basic fact that we already see each other every single school day, the Turnabout Dance of ‘22 should have been held.