Coronavirus Pandemic: Updates Worldwide

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A student collects his diploma at a graduation ceremony at the Bradley-Bourbonnais Community High School May 6 in Bradley, Illinois. Scott Olson / Getty Images

This week, high school and college seniors in the United States are graduating – a milestone that looks a little different during a global pandemic.

Many schools organize virtual events or celebrations by car, or postpone their ceremonies later in the summer in hopes of having them in person. But some schools find safe ways to make sure the show continues.

A high school in Indiana, located near the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, will award diplomas to seniors on the finish line of the racetrack. Each student and their family will be entitled to a car, in which they can drive on the speedway and exit at the finish line.

For many seniors, the process seems more stressful: they graduate in a job market devastated by Covid-19. But for a few days, they can celebrate the end of their student careers and the culmination of years of hard work.

Many seniors have returned to their campuses and dorms this week, wearing masks and dresses to take graduation photos – a rite of passage. Other students organized small gatherings to perform graduation rituals, such as jumping into school fountains and toasting champagne.

In New York, according to annual tradition, the Empire State Building was lit in purple Tuesday evening to celebrate the graduation of New York University. Tomorrow it will be lit in blue and white for the graduation from Columbia University.


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