Quarantine Spotlight with Ainsley Novotny


Ainsley Novotny, senior

While the final stories written by the High Post staff are being published for the end of the school year, the world and its inhabitants do not have the luxury to see the finale of the great story in which is the global pandemic of COVID-19. Although we as a community in Westmoreland County have continuously been spiraling through this dark tunnel of self-isolation and social distancing, we are able to see the light of hope progressively grow brighter with recent news delivered by Pennsylvania governor Tom Wolf. Recently, Wolf announced the transition of moving several counties throughout the Keystone State, including Westmoreland County, into the ‘yellow phase’. From this change, larger gatherings of 25 and in-person retail will be open to the public, amongst other positive social changes. However, the minds of Greater Latrobe students move straight to the possibility of congregating in a school setting. This transition still limits wildcats to be able to assemble with fellow classmates and teachers. With these new restrictions lifted, Greater Latrobe senior Ainsley Novotny allows you as the audience a look into her life throughout these weeks of quarantine.

“Not being able to see everyone at school everyday really showed me how I took it for granted before,” Novotny says. “Being at home with the same people all day really makes for some boring dinner conversations because we’re all with each other all day everyday.”

This recurring theme of spending quality time with friends in the last few months of adolescence before moving onto the next chapter of life has struck the senior class with great force. Being able to be together and creating lasting memories with the people you have known for years is no doubtedly an extremely hard pill to swallow, and for that it has made these weeks isolated more difficult than ever. However, appreciating the gained time together with family is of course a positive to benefit from this global pandemic. 

For the students of Greater Latrobe, each member of the student body has lost something school-related due to the outbreak of COVID-19. Whether it is the loss of performances for the members of our school’s ensembles, to the students who have already had a dress chosen for the 2020 Prom, our students have lost the ability to paint a lasting picture of a memory in school. A student like Ainsley, who is extremely active in our Lady Wildcats Lacrosse team, dives into what could have been for her last season.

“Multiple things come to mind but the worst one would be missing my senior lacrosse season,” Ainsley reveals. “We’ve all worked so hard in the past months to be able to compete with the Pittsburgh schools and pushed ourselves to become the best team we could be.”

This loss for numerous Greater Latrobe senior athletes has been hard to deal with. Putting in the uber amounts of work and effort while blending together as cohesive teams with ultimately losing the ability to play in a final season representing the orange and black colors of Greater Latrobe is a major part of what students have lost. Competing alongside not just fellow teammates but friends for a final time has dimmed the positive light in which is playing as seniors. However, our student-athletes and their achievements both on and off the field have not been overlooked by our community and administration, and it is a small contribution that me as a Staff Writer for the High Post can do to shed light on their accomplishments.

Numerous students throughout the “Quarantine Spotlights” have given insight on what activities they have participated in to pass the time during these tough times. Whether it be family game nights or watching Netflix Originals in the comfort of one’s bed, these students have been able to not only display their lives, but give ideas to the Latrobe community on what to do. Novotny explains what she and her family has been doing with their added time in their lives.

“Everyday around lunchtime my family and I take a walk together. We try to shake it up and walk around St. Vincent or Legion Keener instead of just going around the neighborhood,” Ainsley says. “Also the lacrosse team has been having a zoom call once a week to just catch up and keep in touch with one another.”

Staying active is an important part when living through these isolated periods. Keeping one’s body moving clears the mind and allows for you to be healthy when the idea of lounging around on a couch is the idea of what can only be done throughout this pandemic. Changing the routine and scenery of where you take a family walk can offer a positive outlook on your life, and not having to pass the same tree everyday. And in order to stay in touch, as we grow up through the age of technology and social media, it has never been easier to social distance and communicate with friends and family through the touch of one’s phone or laptop.

Hoping to wake up soon and forget about the nightmare that is COVID-19, students, faculty, and members of our community continue to spread positivity and keep faith that we will soon rise above this ravaging pandemic. The resilience and grit our small town has to move through these tough times has shown for the past weeks, and we as the Greater Latrobe School District will not only continue to try and overcome, but break out of this darkness into the light of prosperity and growth. Ainsley wraps the series of spotlights with her words of encouragement for you as the audience.

“Stay positive, we’re gonna get through it hopefully sooner rather than later,” Novotny says. “Even though this isn’t how some of us pictured our senior year ending, it’s better that we keep ourselves and everyone around us as safe as possible.”