My COVID Dreams: Douglas Dumont Sees Brighter Days Ahead


Douglas Dumont

COVID Class: Like his fellow students at North Atlanta High School, junior Douglas Dumont has been forced to make the best of a far-from-ideal circumstance as he’s lost nearly a quarter of his in-building high school experience because of the global COVID pandemic.

329 days. That’s how long it has been since junior Douglas Dumont has walked the crowded halls of North Atlanta High School, which, on typical school days, used to be traversed by 2,100 students. He has gone the larger part of his junior year without ever setting foot in the $147 million school building, and instead finds himself sitting in his room in front of the illuminated screen of his MacBook every weekday from 8:50 a.m. to 2:50 p.m. His story is one shared by millions of teenagers and students across the United States and the world. They have been forced to meet the challenging circumstances that have been thrown at them by the global pandemic, and Dumont has done exactly that. His story is one of motivation, perseverance, and making the best of the hand that one has been dealt.

For Dumont, meeting the challenges of the pandemic begins with staying on track in school. While many of his peers have struggled to keep their grades up in the virtual learning environment, Dumont has done his best to see the opportunities that virtual learning presents and capitalize on them. Where others see a boring, draining and grueling form of learning, he sees opportunities and benefits. “I actually have thought that online classes have been beneficial in some ways,” he said. “My GPA is able to receive a small boost as teachers grade assignments more leniently because they are conscious of how difficult it can be to learn and complete assignments in this environment.”

Even though Dumont has not found virtual learning to be ideal, he still finds motivation to do his best. He has kept his larger goals in mind and has not let the pandemic completely derail him from the track that he knows he wants to be on in life. He knows the pandemic is temporary but his goals remain relevant for his entire life. “My motivation level is pretty high right now because I know that I am in the most important year academically for high school,” he said. “I am focused on keeping my grades up with college beginning to seem not so distant.”

Dumont’s parents also emphasize the importance of him staying on track during these unprecedented times. They, like him, are invested in his success and have helped him stay drilled in. When we are ultimately able to put this pandemic behind us, Dumont’s parents hope that he will emerge healthy and prepared for the real world. “My parents are mostly just concerned about keeping us healthy and ensuring that I stay on track in my life because they want me to be ready to return to life like normal when it ultimately happens” he said.

There is no doubt that today’s circumstances are less than ideal to all teenagers and Americans, but Dumont is not languishing in self-pity. His optimistic spirit is something that all of his peers can all learn from as they navigate the murky waters of this pandemic.

He is philosophical about the reality of losing almost a quarter of his in-building time as a high schooler, though. “It’s definitely sad to think about that, but I think that there is much more to life beyond high school,” he said. “And although we may have been robbed of a year of our lives, better years are ahead.”

So what are Dumont’s “COVID Dreams” for these better days and years? He doesn’t ask for much. “I just hope for a return to normal life whenever possible I guess,” he said. “I’m sure things won’t be exactly as they were before but I think most everyone is experiencing the same ‘COVID fatigue’ and just wants to live their lives normally. Even going back to the simplest things would probably make people across the globe happy.”

Dumont’s experience is just one story among millions of teenagers experiencing the same thing. They have been thrown one of life’s biggest curveballs and they have been asked to take the current situation and make the best of it. Dumont’s story is one of finding success no matter the circumstances. His COVID-era dreams are all about looking forward. And his message – to himself and to others – is as succinct as it is positive: brighter days are certainly ahead.