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People everywhere have canceled plans and altered their lifestyles in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic in order to stay safe and healthy. But while that might look like working from home, adjusting to virtual learning or putting plans with friends on hold, others are having to re-imagine some of life’s biggest milestones like prom, high school graduation or walking down the aisle.
Luckily, for those graduating this spring, no student is alone in grieving these momentous occasions. In fact, schools are working on ways to ensure that seniors are being recognized for their accomplishments while students themselves are finding alternative ways to partake in the fun of their final years with virtual proms. For one couple who had a wedding date in April, they made sure to still have a celebration, despite altering their plans.
Atlanta-based siblings, Hannah, 15, and Charlie Lucas, 18, have been worried about the mental health of high school students missing out on milestone events, like their last days of school, prom and graduation. So, they put together the We Are Well: Virtual Prom for senior students to dress up and dance. They even dedicated part of the event to experts who provided self-care and mental health tips, while additionally providing cash grants to people in need. “We really wanted to shine a light on this graduating senior class and show them that we are here, we’re together, and we’re strong amongst all the chaos,” Hannah tells Yahoo Life.
High schools everywhere are reimagining what graduation looks like for the class of 2020. And while a traditional ceremony isn’t on the table, one administrator in Cincinnati decided that the circumstances wouldn’t keep him from making each and every student feel special. “I said to myself, ‘I’m not going to allow our current state that we’re in to deter these students from moving on to the next level...I’m going to try to put a smile on somebody’s face today,” Ramone Davenport, Dohn Community High School director, tells Yahoo Life. So, Davenport is making personal pit-stops at each of the graduating seniors’ homes where he’s putting on an impromptu ceremony while wearing protective gear.
Bri and Lindsey Leaverton were planning to get married on April 10 with a ceremony and reception that was “planned to a T.” But even when the coronavirus pandemic threatened to ruin their nuptials, the couple discovered a different way to get married and even to celebrate with family and friends when they discovered a nearby drive-in movie theater. “We immediately started to take action because this felt right. Our hearts lit up,” Lindsey tells Yahoo Life. The couple refers to it as their Plan B wedding, although it seems they wouldn’t have it any other way, as their loved ones watched them get married from the safety of their cars.
Ultrarunner Kalyca Zarich was gearing up for a 100-mile run set to take place in her home state of Colorado on June 13. And although the event was canceled in the wake of the coronavirus, the 30-year-old wouldn’t let that deter her from accomplishing her third event of that distance. In fact, she tells Yahoo Life that the circumstances of the pandemic motivated her even more as she set her sights on running for a good cause. On Friday, she began documenting her long-distance run on Facebook while fundraising money to make care packages for health care workers. “Anything I can do to show my gratitude, I’ll do it,” she says, hoping that she’ll cross the finish line in 24 hours.
Beyond the life-saving work that health care workers have been doing on the frontline of the coronavirus, one nurse practitioner is going above and beyond to bring her most vulnerable patients groceries during this time. Pam Womack does home visits to patients who are elderly or living with chronic diseases, which makes them most susceptible to the coronavirus. So, the nurse practitioner is making sure that food insecurity isn’t a problem that her patients need to worry about. “They are scared, unsure of how to get their health care needs addressed and afraid to venture out into public, even if they could,” Womack tells Yahoo Life of her patients. “What may seem a small thing to most of us, a bag of groceries, can make the difference between having a meal this evening, or going to bed hungry.”
For the latest coronavirus news and updates, follow along at https://news.yahoo.com/coronavirus. According to experts, people over 60 and those who are immunocompromised continue to be the most at risk. If you have questions, please reference the CDC’s and WHO’s resource guides.
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