A bit of finality came home Monday (May 11, 2020) and today (Tuesday, May 12, 2020).

On Monday, I ventured to my son’s elementary school to get the rest of his belongings from his desk. School workers had each student’s items bagged and marked with their names. Masked parents entered the building through the gymnasium, greeted by masked volunteers and a masked school secretary. The student’s name given, parents followed volunteers to the spot in the cafeteria to receive the bagged belongings.

A different scenario for the high school pickup. Parent or student drives up to the school entrance. A masked school worker comes out the front door, approaches the vehicle and asks for student’s name and homeroom. Worker returns to the building to retrieve bagged items from the cafeteria. Bag in hand, parent receives items in her car.

Just three more weeks and the 2019-20 academic year officially ends. No year-end celebrations at this point. No activities that usually occur this month — recitals, playoffs, fundraisers, fun days. Prom dresses remain on hangers in the closet, with the possibility of never making it to that night to shine in glitz and glamour with dancing and dinner.

Then the graduations. The long-awaited walk to the strains of “Pomp and Circumstance” before family and friends and the bidding farewell to high school en route to college, work and the life ahead is stymied. Some might get the chance to record that walk to include in a streamed program, while others — who knows?

What a school year. How we all looked forward to the Roaring ’20s of the 21st century, roaring ahead to good times perhaps like the roaring ’20s that brought us silent movies, the Charleston, flappers and jazz. Instead, we have so far encountered a highly contagious virus the keeps us from life as we know it.

Looking ahead to the next school year, Pennsylvania Secretary of Education Pedro Rivera said that schools should reopen in the building form, according to a regional broadcast station — with certain restrictions in place, of course! Until then, let’s endure this distance learning, unpack what’s left from desks and lockers and hope for some semblance of summer fun to rise above this corona chaos.