A year out of school doesn't have to be a year "off". With or without the variables introduced by a pandemic, there are excellent reasons for not jumping directly into college, even if you know that's what you want to do eventually.
Whether you're getting deferred admission or waiting to apply, a gap year can be the opportunity for resetting goals, deepening skills and motivations, or exploring your interests through work, internships, and volunteering.
Here's another thing: maybe you're not ready. Even if your transcripts and applications look good, you might not feel you have the maturity or life skills to take the next step. This is actually a sign of maturity in that you're willing to make an honest self-assessment.
If you find a mentor and make an alternate plan for the year that involves real exploration and work, you can set yourself up for more purposeful engagement with college once you get there. There's no substitute for encounters with the real world. Having them in a directed way that guides your further education is the smartest step some students can take.