Shira Zeiberg '22
Long dresses, suits and corsages consume the thrilling day as students prepare. Outfits are bought and dates are planned months in advance. Families get together for pictures of their children and watch them depart for the long awaited evening. Students carpool, some rent party buses, and make their way to the Stamford Marriott. Students dance and enjoy a meal at the County Assembly Charity Ball – known to students as counties.
This year, the dance was cancelled due to COVID-19 and the risks associated with large gatherings. The County Assembly announced the cancellation of all of their 2021 events on their Facebook; also alluding to the possibility of a virtual event. The decision caused a swarm of controversy and mixed opinions amongst Staples juniors.
One common frustration among students is the timing of the cancellation. Many feel the dance has been called off too early, as it is unknown what the coronavirus conditions will look like in February – the usual month of the dance.
“I think that it might be a little early to cancel,” Eli Sherrok ’22 said. “I would understand that if the pandemic was still bad in winter to cancel it, but I feel it might be a little premature with the dance still months away.”
Students also believe that a COVID-friendly alternative is possible. Normally, the dance includes students from other towns, such as Weston and Wilton.
“I think that if counties were just with Staples students, and everyone wore masks, it would be safe,” Claire Fischer ’22 said. “Since we go to school with these people everyday, I don’t think there is a difference.
Although counties are the highlight of many peoples’ junior year, many students accept the cancelation due to the risks.
“Based on the current situation of your country, and the possibility of COVID getting worse, it is not the worst idea [to cancel the dance],” Emmy Marcus ‘22.
Many students understand that the risks of counties aren’t worth a night of dancing.
“Having counties would put many students […] at risk of catching Covid-19, so I do not think it should happen,” Luca Robins ‘22.
Although counties are not happening this year, many juniors hope for the possibility of a prom this spring, as well as many more events during their last two years at Staples.