Let’s Try to Avoid Another School Shutdown


Emily Thomas, Opinion Editor

Emily Thomas, Opinion Editor

“There is so much more we know now about COVID than we had when this all began; we just must apply what we learned from past surges to fit the current situation.”

  It’s not a huge surprise that after all the holiday travel, there is a huge spike in COVID cases. It also does not help that the new Omicron variant is the most transmissible variant we’ve had so far. In response to the massive spike after the holidays, many schools across the nation have taken dramatic measures until COVID cases significantly decrease. While some schools are leaning towards the option of reclosing, many students prefer not to go back to the remote learning of March 2020. Instead, there are other more efficient means we can take as a school to avoid another shut down. There is so much more we know now about COVID than we had when this all began; we just must apply what we learned from past surges to fit the current situation.

   An easy one for starters is simply going back to mask wearing. We know that masks prevent the spread of germs and air borne particles and with a variant that is now four times as transmissible as the original strain, it seems like a smart time to go back to wearing masks. What sense does it make to be adamant about wearing masks with the original strain and not Omicron, when this one spreads way more easily?

   Another easy decision regarding the limited spreading of germs is to not come to school when you feel sick! We all know that COVID very closely mimics the symptoms of a common cold, so when you start to feel a little sick, you must stay home and treat it as if it is COVID. Even if you get tested and come back negative for COVID, stay home anyway. It doesn’t matter what kind of sickness you are dealing with, nobody else wants it. Do yourself a favor and take the opportunity to catch up on some sleep.

   Lastly, while vaccines have proven not as effective in limiting the symptoms of the omicron variant, getting vaccinated is still SUPER important if we want to stop more variants from developing in the future. In a sense, we got lucky this time with Omicron, in that if you catch it, you will have a less severe case than the previous two variants. However, we cannot be sure that the worst is still not yet to come. Vaccines are still efficient in limiting the spread of COVID and are still crucial to preventing more variants in the future.

   We have been through all of this already and we seem to have forgotten all that we overcame. We are in a much better position now than we were nearly two years ago and realistically, the omicron variant would not have had to have been as bad as it is now. We have vaccines that significantly lower chances of death and we know how to stop COVID from spreading. From the looks of it, we’ve really just given up. While it might not be a critical health issue for most of us if we catch the milder omicron variant, we mustn’t forget that for many people, COVID is still dangerous. Additionally, there are still all of the doctors and nurses who have been working non-stop since the beginning to help everyone from at-risk patients to those who are too lazy and careless to take simple precautions. Please be mindful of others and make smart decisions so COVID does not have to be a never-ending battle.