Coronavirus crisis forces 2019-2020 school year to continue online


Joey Klobas '07

The Crusader mascot starred in an inspirational video during the SIP.

As the three o’clock prayer echoed through the halls of Archbishop Riordan High School on March 5, teachers began office hours as per usual and prepared for an Archdiocesan Educators’ Convocation the following day.

Students walked down Ocean Avenue, high fiving their Crusader Brothers as they thought out plans for their three day weekend. No one would’ve guessed that it was their last day in school.

On the afternoon of March 6, it was reported that the parents of a Riordan student tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19). The Riordan Administration, led by President Dr. Andrew Currier and Principal Tim Reardon, made the immediate decision to cancel the baseball and basketball activities for that evening.

News of the cancellation came as a shock to the team’s supporters and the opposing team of De La Salle High School in Concord. During the announcement, the Administration also announced the closure of the school for Monday, March 9 as deep cleaning of the campus would be conducted, with classes resuming on Tuesday morning.

According to the World Health Organization, the most common symptoms of the coronavirus are producing a dry cough, dealing with nasal congestion, aches, and pains, sore throat, or tiredness. A fever is also a top attribute one may develop.

The reason someone might not know they have COVID-19 is that their symptoms are still developing, but will soon climb gradually. According to health experts, the virus takes two to 14 days after contact for someone to start feeling any signs.

“With the flu, one usually comes down with symptoms only a few days after being exposed, and once you do, you hopefully self-isolate while you try to get better,” said Science Department Chair Colleen O’Rourke.

“If someone thinks they have the coronavirus, they should stay home and self isolate first,” said USF nursing student Denise Santos. “Certain individuals like those with lower immune systems or even those who smoke or vape are at a higher risk and may need to be admitted to the hospital so the medical staff can watch them closer.”

Although this virus carries an 80 percent recovery rate without medical treatment, it could be deadly. The most targeted in that department are the elderly, whose immune systems aren’t as strong as they once were, and those with compromised medical histories.

The latter include diabetics, those with weak immune systems, asthma or cancer, and people who smoke.

As of mid-June, the United States has roughly 2,085,769 cases and 878,182 have recovered. 115,644 people have lost their lives due to the virus. In California, there are 148,855 confirmed cases and 5,063 fatalities. To narrow it down even more, there are 2,928 confirmed cases in San Francisco, with 45 deaths.

During the early morning hours of March 9, Currier and Reardon reported that a Riordan student had tested positive for COVID-19. Within the announcement, the administration stated that a decision to close the school building beyond March 9 would be made that afternoon.

At 4:00 p.m., the Riordan Administration, after consulting with the Archdiocese of San Francisco and the San Francisco Health Department, made the decision to cancel classes and school-related activities for two weeks, with hopes of resuming classes on March 23.

With that announcement came the cancellation of the Varsity basketball team’s road to a State Championship, the Sophomore Retreat, and the annual Mother- Son Dance.

Dean of Academics Michael O’Brien was going to lead the Sophomore Retreat and stated, “It’s devastating for the program. It looks like we’re not going to be able to pull it off this year.” O’Brien said that the retreat program has been hit the hardest from the closure.

One day after the announcement of the two week closure, Superintendent of the Archdiocese of San Francisco, Pamela Lyons, announced that all Archdiocesan schools would be closed through March 25 with the hope of returning to campus on March 26. This extended the closure of Riordan by an extra three days, but with it took out the plans for the Junior Retreat.

As cases of COVID-19 continued to rapidly increase, Mayor London Breed of San Francisco made an announcement on March 16 that San Francisco and five other counties would institute a shelter- in-place order until April 7. This order would later be extended to the beginning of May.

On the first day back from Easter Break, Lyons officially announced what a majority of students had feared, Archbishop Riordan High School wouldn’t reopen for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year, bringing the historic school year to a close, but many are still looking forward to another historic year in the fall.

Frankie Ryan ’20, stated, “I feel like I lost so much of my senior year. I am hopeful though that the school will have a ceremony that we will never forget and this virus will bring us closer as a class.”

Though Archbishop Riordan High School didn’t return for the rest of the year, school spirit among the Crusaders was still very much alive.