During the most uncertain year in history for students, Fremont has accepted the challenge and is winning against COVID-19.
The virus, which according to a report released Tuesday by Johns Hopkins has now taken the lives of 200,000 Americans, seized normalcy, spun it around 10 times and told it to continue as best it can.
No group has felt the dizzying effects more than students, at all levels. The total school experience for students was taken away in the spring, seemingly in 24 hours. They were cut off from their friends, teachers, and teammates with no real return to what they knew as normal. At every turn, a “normal” school activity was taken away by the virus. High school students could no longer take part in a sport, speech, music event or attend the long-awaited prom or graduation ceremony. Some proms and graduations were rescheduled to a later date only to be taken away again.
Although not completely back to pre-COVID-19, Fremont students slowly began to see normalcy return as the new school year began. This happened due to a team effort.
First, all of the city’s educational institutions each developed a thorough plan for returning to the classroom and stuck to them.
Second, the students complied. Some mistakenly thought students would be the most vocal against wearing masks, social distancing and the countless changes to their school days, but they weren’t. Superintendent Mark Shepard recently complemented his schools’ students and their commitment to following the mandates.
Lastly — and this is the biggest of all — the Fremont community did its part, much like it did in 2019 during the flood.
The Fremont community understands what students are going through in this uncertain time and has been willing to do what is necessary to bring back normalcy for our youth.
Fans at every event have done their part by following the guidelines set forth by the hosting institution. Even if masks aren’t the most comfortable and fog up eyeglasses so much that they are rendered useless—Fremonters wear them because if it could help bring some sort of normalcy for our youth, they will do it.
It is because of this that smiles have returned to the faces of the dancers, cheerleaders, band members, and athletes—masks may cover them up but they’re there nonetheless. Without this community effort, the Fremont High girls and boys cross country teams would not be running to No. 1 rankings, the Archbishop Bergan football team would not be 4-0 and the FHS football team wouldn’t have entertained its fans with a thrilling win in overtime versus a ranked Grand Island team. Likewise, athletes on the courts and greens would not have had opportunities to set personal bests or garner more wins than in previous years.
This is why Fremont (Fremont High or Bergan) isn’t listed among the 78 volleyball games or 36 football games that have been canceled so far this season due to COVID-19.
This willingness to sacrifice something to keep this virus at bay doesn’t just show up at events but also at grocery stores, gas stations, banks and laundromats. Fremonters realize that the virus doesn’t work that way. More often than not, residents are wearing masks and practicing social distancing because we do not want the virus to sneak its way into nursing homes, child care centers or our schools.
Those communities battling a virus outbreak or that have had events canceled are in our hearts. We reach out and help because that’s what Fremonters do.
But these situations should also be a reminder that the game has not yet been won, the race is not yet complete and the chorus has not yet been sung.
Keep it rolling Fremont, let’s continue to beat this.