Coronavirus impacts Forensics and GIN; Season 3 trip cancellations confirmed


The varsity baseball team finished second in the annual Booster Club softball team this year. Though they enjoyed the camaraderie and fun of the weekend, it's been a significant disappointment that other competitions in their chosen sport were cancelled due to concerns about the Covid-19 virus. Photo courtesy of ASD Booster Club

Amira T., Reporter

The corona virus has not only tragically affected numerous people internationally, but it has also hit the ASD home front in terms of potential travel opportunities. In fact, both the GIN Conference in Thailand and the Varsity Forensics competition in Malaysia have officially been canceled because of the virus.

Although parents will get refunds, the financial devastation has not been nearly as severe as the emotional impact it has had on coaches, teachers, and students. In fact, Ms. Patricia Klennert, who is one of the Varsity Forensics coaches (along with Ms. Leah Bramley and Ms. Emma Collins), stated “how devastating it was to learn that the opportunity to work with such amazing teachers and students was taken away from us.”

The Varsity Forensics team was holding onto hope for Season 3, because of their previous trip cancellation during Season 2. However, it doesn’t look like anyone will be getting that coveted varsity bag anytime soon. ASD was invited back to the MESAC tournament in India, where they were scheduled to compete with adapted rules and regulations.

This year, there are an estimated 200 students whose trips were impacted by the weight of the virus, including the JV and Varsity Baseball and Softball Teams, the JV and Varsity Badminton Teams, and all services trips to Tanzania and the Maldives this year.

After having hopes for first a Singapore trip and then an India trip dashed, the varsity softball team made the best of a sad situation and came together to win the Booster Club’s Doha fast-pitch softball tournament. Photo courtesy of ASD Booster Club

The MESAC Heads of School have published an announcement regarding the corona virus and its impact on Season 3, stating that “the health and safety of our students, faculty, coaches, and parents will always take precedence.” Because of these reasons, ASD has also suspended all out-of-country travel due to the severe health risks the virus poses.

These decisions have affected not only students — the ban on travel has affected teachers as well. The Near East South Asia (NESA) Spring Educators Conferences in Bangkok, Thailand, has also been cancelled for similar reasons. The educational organization has said that “[w]e deeply regret that we must cancel, yet are certain this is the prudent course of action.”

Above all, many students agree that although the lack of travel is heartbreaking, it is a time to reflect on the amazing opportunities ASD students and faculty have been given in terms of competing and traveling around the world. An. Toivonen (’21), a participant in the Varsity Badminton trip, has stated that she is thankful that “ASD has such a ‘first-world problem’ of international travel in the first place.”

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