Local and global events cancelled due to COVID-19

Catherine Hu and Zaina Shaik

Several school, local and national events previously scheduled for March and April have been canceled after an update from IUSD Superintendent Terry Walker on March 12.

“All non-essential small and large gatherings, meetings, events, assemblies, school open houses, performances, festivals and other activities will be canceled or postponed,” Walker said in an email to the community.

These updates came after the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the coronavirus outbreak to be a pandemic—a global spread of a new disease—on March 11. Following the WHO decision, California governor Gavin Newsom ordered the cancellation of gatherings of over 250 people through the end of March, including all non-essential professional, social and community events. The ban did not call for the closing of schools, but IUSD swiftly followed suit in their cancellation of non-essential school events. 

Among these is Friday’s Sadie Hawkins dance, which has been postponed indefinitely. The Theatre Arts department’s spring play “Romeo and Juliet” and Philharmonic Orchestra’s performance of Beethoven’s 5th Symphony have also been postponed. The choral and instrumental tour, originally scheduled for spring break, was cancelled entirely.

In addition, state competitions for Speech and Debate, the Journalism Education Association and Science Olympiad have been canceled due to COVID-19 concerns. Members of all these groups  had qualified for their respective state tournaments at their regional competitions, but will now not be able to compete against their peers statewide. Similarly, while sports competitions will continue, spectators will not be allowed at any games.

Locally, Disneyland announced that it would be closed from March 14 to the end of the month. This decision follows the NCAA’s cancellation of March Madness, the NBA and NHL suspensions of their respective seasons and the MLB’s suspension of spring training and postponement of opening day. In the past few weeks, universities across the country have begun switching their in-person classes to online ones, sending students home and banning large gatherings. 

In light of the outbreak, IUSD is considering a range of options should schools be ordered closed, including online or distance learning. Several school districts in states such as Washington, Ohio, Maryland and Massachusetts have already taken such action. Northwood will be changing the schedule for both March 20 and 23 to Super Late Starts for staff to plan learning tools in the event of a switch to online education. 

I think we were all really disappointed that the state competition got canceled this year,” senior Zara Hamid said. “As a senior, this was my last chance to compete, but I’m confident that next year’s team will be more than ready to do an amazing job at state.”

For more updates, please visit the IUSD website at iusd.org/COVID19.