ASHLAND — Sophia Cooper, a senior at Ashland High School, is not as upset about missing graduation as she is about the death and strife caused by the coronavirus.

But Cooper, a member of Our Lady of the Mountain Parish, does feel sad that she won’t be able to toss her cap with 200 peers and then step into an eruption of hugs. She was looking forward to senior night, a school-organized party that goes until 3 a.m. Missing prom hurt. She feels generally cooped up. A 17-year-old was not designed for this.

“It is kind of annoying in a way but I guess the whole world is going through it,” Cooper said.

A four-year basketball player, she also is in student government and was elected to the prom court that had no prom. 

Plans call for a parade through downtown Ashland where the people can cheer from cars for graduates, who also would be in cars. School leaders sent pizza and flowers to the homes of each senior. 

“When I first heard the coronavirus was coming, I said, ‘Our school is never closing down. We are such a small town,’” Cooper said. But during spring break, news came that the rest of the school year was to be carried out online. Cooper finished her dual credit and AP classes, putting her on the path to begin at Oregon State University in the fall, whether online or in person. 

She feels for seniors who slacked off at the start of the year and then had no chance to make a spring comeback. They are headed to summer school.

Cooper and her family have taken part in livestreamed Masses and she has continued formation online for the sacrament of confirmation. Homework for confirmation has been an occasion for discipline at a time when life could go rogue, she explained.