Puyallup students and staff document quarantine moments to be used in yearbook

PUYALLUP, Wash. -- Some people may look back at their old high school yearbook and cringe at the pictures and handwritten messages inside. For some of today’s students, COVID-19 will shape how they reminisce on this time in history in their yearbooks.

For many students and staff at Puyallup High School, the coronavirus outbreak will be something they will never forget.

“It’s interesting to see. It’s weird to live through something like this,” said Ginger Wiens, a senior and yearbook editor and chief.

For weeks, the school has been closed and events canceled to reduce exposure to COVID-19, leaving no Spring Season moments to capture for the 2020 yearbook.

“All of a sudden, the brakes went on. And we were like, okay, how are we going to do this now? And then we found out soon after that the printing factory—their account shut down too,” said John Anderle, yearbook adviser. “We’ve been shuffling things around and trying to look at how we’re going to fill up the pages that we had left, which were quite a few towards the end.”

To fill those blank pages, the yearbook committee sent a list to students and staff asking them to record their time in quarantine. Whether it be a visit to the park, a trip out-of-town, hunkered down at home, a quarantine music playlist or Netflix series, the committee wants all of it to be remembered in the book.

“Content is actually flowing in pretty good. But we’re also looking at that positive twist on things—how has this affected us, but we have kids who are volunteering, things like that. So, we’re going to put some stories out about that too,” said Anderle.

“This is like history. We’re never going to experience something like this again, hopefully. So, we just want to recap everything that’s happening right now into the yearbook. Because essentially the yearbook is something for all of us to look back on,” said Wiens.

Anderle said the printing company will hopefully begin printing yearbooks this summer. He said the committee’s goal is to hand out books by the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year.