My experience with COVID-19 and how it has impacted Buena High School’s 2020 Drumline season


Buena High School’s Drumline performing “Bloom Again”. Credit: Used with permission

Jacob Guthrie, Writer

Devastation. Sadness. Disappointment. The combination of these three words, unfortunately, describe the meeting that took place on March 12, 2020, in regards to the now-canceled season of Buena High School’s Drumline.

To provide a bit more context, I am a member of Buena’s marching band and indoor drumline where I play the snare drum. Like me, there are numerous members of Buena’s drumline who attend Foothill Technology High School. With the end of the marching band season, indoor drumline begins, which is a combination of both battery instruments (drums) and the front ensemble.

Our show is story-based consisting of extravagant uniforms, props and the entire floor is a printed image related to the show’s concept. With something so elaborate and challenging, the practice schedule was rigorous; we had rehearsal Tuesday through Thursday from three to six p.m. at Buena. Every day we worked towards learning and perfecting the same show, consisting of both music and visual components. It requires great precision and teamwork to truly make the end product successful.

Every year new shows are written, learned, perfected and performed. However, this year’s show won’t be performed again, and it will never be shown to an audience another time. They are made to be seen, listened to and felt by an audience. The 2020 show was arguably Buena’s best show, entitled “Bloom Again” with a very talented group of performers. COVID-19 has seemed to cast a shadow on all aspects of our lives and this global pandemic has imprisoned many of the events students and parents look forward to.

Two shows into the season, as we were beginning to learn and finish part three out of three of the program, the Southern California Percussion Alliance (SCPA) announced the cancellation of the remainder of their events for the 2020 season.

“Everyone at SCPA is profoundly saddened by this development. We will all collectively mourn losing the conclusion of our 20th anniversary season, and the loss of memories that were yet to be made,” (SCPA).

Just as our show started to come together, and as we were excited to go perform it this weekend at the SCPA show at Great Oak High School, we heard this devastating news. It put a halt to everything we’ve been working towards since January. Personally, I am at a loss for words, as was our team of world-class staff members in the meeting. We were planning to finish learning our show next Wednesday, then perform it for a small crowd on Thursday evening to bring a sense of finality to our program this year. Unfortunately, this seems less and less likely with the recent announcement from Ventura Unified School District (Ventura Unified).

Some additional cancellations due to the infamous COVID-19 virus pandemic include major league sports like the National Hockey League, Major League Soccer, Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association and the Association of Tennis Professionals.

Besides this, the global economy has particularly taken a toll, and according to the New York Times, “the global outbreak has caused upheaval in stock markets and disrupted supply chains around the world.” Additionally, stated in an article from Forbes, “the Dow Jones has declined by about 28% between February 11 and March 12, 2020, driven by the Coronavirus pandemic and turmoil in the crude oil markets.” They’re comparing the recent COVID-19 related stock market decline to “the Great Depression of 1929 (-89% decline), Black Monday of 1987 (-31%), the 2000s Recession (-34%) and the Great Recession of 2007-08 (-49%).”

Before I go on, it would make sense to breakdown the virus that’s causing all this ruckus. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), COVID-19 is “[a] large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans,” and that common signs of COVID-19 “include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.”

If you go anywhere, you will hear the word “Coronavirus” being tossed around, which technically is a family of viruses consisting of COVID-19. Worldwide, the Coronavirus has become the heat of news, social media, and has caused a somewhat unnecessary global panic. The WHO has released and updated daily statistics on COVID-19, and currently, over 150,000 global cases have been confirmed, and over 5,600 people have died from COVID-19. From these statistics, under four percent of people who have the virus have died from it, and most deaths have been people of age 80 or above. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that there have been 36,000,000 – 51,000,000 flu cases and that there have been 20,000-55,000 flu-related deaths from October 1, 2019, through March 7, 2020. This is over five times the number of COVID-19 related deaths in the span of only four months.

Nonetheless, Ventura has declared a local health emergency, and a web page has been set up for information and updates regarding the spread of COVID-19. School districts have canceled extra-curricular activities and VUSD will shut down all schools beginning March 16 through April 10, 2020. This news is fresh from VUSD and is still developing. However, the likelihood of you catching this virus is significantly lower than you might expect, but you can never be safe enough. The WHO recommends these five things to stay clear of catching any unwanted viruses:

  • Wash your hands frequently

  • Maintain social distance (a minimum of 3 feet is recommended)

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth

  • Stay updated on recent information regarding COVID-19

  • If you feel sick, avoid attending school or work (and any other social events) and seek medical attention

In the chaotic world we live in today, it is very important to stay updated, informed and follow instructions. Stay on top of the news and follow reliable health agencies for statistics and suggestions regarding this outbreak. Panic is not needed as long as we follow the necessary precautions as our government instructs. My heart goes out to those who can’t participate in their sport, school activities or passions due to the unfortunate circumstances we’ve been placed in. Be there in support of those who have been deeply impacted by these overnight events that have caused so much unforeseen chaos.

What do you think?