Band trip cut short

Kayla Johnson, Reporter

While rumors of schools and businesses closing were exploding back home in Wisconsin, over a hundred DC Everest students were enjoying their time in Florida at Universal and Disney World. I was one of those students, a consistent theme we all had was confusion about the craziness happening at home. No one knew what was true and what was exaggeration or a prediction. I couldn’t care less about the chaos happening in Wisconsin because I was not going to let anything ruin the biggest trip I had ever gone on. 

     We spent one day at Universal, having as good of a time we could. When we arrived at the hotel for our first night, we realized that on Monday Disney World would be closed. I was upset about this, because that meant that we would be missing our Animal Kingdom day; I had never gone anywhere nearly as far as Florida, so I wanted to get every fun experience I could hope for. Once again, we were confused about what would happen since we couldn’t go to Disney on our last day in Florida. Many of us were hopeful that we would remain in Florida and that our band director, Mr. Joseph Finnegan, would find a new activity for us to do. 

     The next morning, we left for Disney as planned despite the problems concerning our last day at Disney. I did as much as I could with my friends for the first part of the day, then it was time for the part of this trip I was not excited for: marching. This was a band trip after all, therefore marching down Disney’s Magic Kingdom in full marching gear was necessary. When marching was finished, we hurriedly changed out of the gear to prevent ourselves from overheating. In the changing room, a dreadful rumor spread. A rumor that we were leaving that day. I couldn’t believe it, we worked so hard for so long to get to where we were; there was no way anyone would have the nerve to send us back onto the twenty four hour ride back to Wisconsin, we had not even spent forty eight hours in Florida yet. 

     Confused and dreadful, we gathered around Mr. Finnegan as he congratulated us on our performance. I could hardly even hear him as I waited anxiously for Mr. Finnegan to address that the rumors were not true. I would never get to hear those words I so desperately hoped for. Instead, we were informed that Marathon County decided it was safer to send the band students back as soon as possible so we would not get quarantined in Florida. This meant that we had three hours left in Disney. 

     Only three hours to experience the magic of Disney, except it was impossible for me and many others to experience one more spark of joy with the dread of leaving soon dampening our spirits. Sadly, my final three hours at Disney were spent wandering aimlessly, somehow still vagley hoping that this was all a sick joke. When we left the park to pack our bags and boarded the bus, all hopes were crushed. My sadness, disbelief and dread were replaced with frustration. I couldn’t understand how everyone was overreacting about a virus with such a small mortality rate that was only fatal for a select few, of those few, healthy teenagers were not included. I knew my protests and frustration would make no difference, but that didn’t stop me and countless others from repeatedly making our grievances known. 

     The long ride back to Wisconsin unfortunately felt faster than the ride to Florida. I had a surreal out of body feeling as I exited the bus, grabbed my bags and left for my house with my family. I didn’t fully come to terms until later that night; we were back home after only two days in Florida and we would be staying home for a very long time.