Graduating During COVID-19



Graduating During COVID-19


Painting has always been something I enjoy. I used to dance, and ever since I stopped, painting has given me another creative outlet to turn to when I need to let out how I am feeling. I knew from the beginning that I would choose to do a painting as my project, but I did not know what it would look like until my brush laid its first strokes on the canvas.
As a graduate of the high school class of 2020, I can say that the end of our senior was quite literally taken away from us by the COVID-19 pandemic. All of the “lasts” we were supposed to experience either never happened or happened at a much later date than anticipated while looking very different. One of these is graduation. My high school had our graduation in early August instead of late May when it would take place under normal circumstances. While people were dying from the virus, I was graduating high school. I was having an in-person graduation ceremony with my 198 other classmates, parents, and faculty. As the death toll climbed, I was walking across the stage, my mask on my wrist, elbow-bumping my principal, and receiving my diploma.
The painting I have created is a primary source because I have lived through the events it is based on myself. A primary source is something that can provide a firsthand experience. Because I have lived through the COVID-19 pandemic, my art piece is qualified as a primary source.
I believe that future researchers and students could learn from the primary source I have created. It provides a look into the life of a high school senior graduating during the pandemic. The numbers in the background are the death tolls throughout the year of 2020 worldwide from the virus. The numbers get larger both in numerical value and in size as they go down the canvas. The numbers at the top are also visible, whereas those on the bottom are covered up. This is meant to symbolize that in the beginning people cared a lot, but as more people were infected, as more people died, as time went on, people cared less and less about the increasing numbers.


Eau Claire, Wis.


April 30, 2021


Amy Baranowski


Amy Baranowski


Health and medicine

This item was submitted on May 5, 2021 by [anonymous user] using the form “Contribute an object” on the site “Western Wisconsin COVID-19 Archive Project”:

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