Protect Your Health In A World Gone COVID

Ryliegh Martin , Writer, Editor

COVID-19. Omicron. When will it end? Doctors, health organizations, the president, they’re all asking the same question everyday. Yet they begin to ask in comparison, “How can we control it?” Sadly, as society determines ways to stop such a sporadic virus, the virus struggles to be contained, like any sickness, it can’t be controlled. Have you never gotten the flu since you got the yearly vaccination? Have you gotten sick, yet recovered faster? These questions undeniably become seen in the drama of this virus, this “hidden” disease. People have begun to believe that they are suddenly immune if they get the vaccination, or that a mask can keep them safe from the virus. 

“ People should not be forced to do anything if they do not want to,” Garcia said.  “I think people should be vaccinated for their own safety and the safety of others. I also believe that mask wearing should be a choice but be strongly suggested to people who are not vaccinated.” 

The school’s recent shut-down for misting has been seen as a new option for schools. Teachers and students, both benefiting from the two days off, feel that maybe each Friday could be taken off for misting and COVID-19 cleaning. However, as misting has been seen as an opportunity for students and teachers to have time off to grade, study, or take leisure time, it hasn’t stopped the hundreds of students and staff from getting sick. Despite the two day closure, it didn’t stop the rise of cases, nor the carrying of the variant itself. No matter how many precautions the school takes, the students still end up sick, carrying the variant, or spreading germs through lack of hygiene. 

“ I noticed that many people do not care about what germs they carry around but then there are some people that do care a lot,” Garcia said. “So I would say that it is about half and half of the students in the school.”

The latter has caused the symptoms to spread, the variant to go undetected and impossible to track in the amount of students. As much as it would be the best  solution to find the  carrier and keep them contained and take a few days to check for positives in the rest of the schooling community, it fails to be seen as a possible, rational and to say the least doable solution. It’s impossible to find the disease carrier amongst hundreds who begin to carry it within days of being in contact with someone who knows or does not know they had the virus. In addition, to clear the hallways with misting spray and expect students to come back as usual is going to be a difficult quota to reach. 

“It was nice to have the days off,” Holloway said. “This semester always feels the longest, so the break was nice. Except I don’t think it had any effect on the return of students and staff. COVID takes longer than just two days to get over, and the closure didn’t stop the rise in cases.”

Though these solutions are seen as impossible, as a difficult thing to achieve, students and staff can go on their own solution, rather not to stop the virus, but to slow it down. Hygiene is very important in daily life, but more so during a pandemic. How often are hands washed? Railings cleaned? How often does the custodial staff do more than clean the toilets? Have the showers in the locker rooms been considered? The sinks and stall doors wiped down? How often is the school truly sanitary? It’s hard to know. Impossible even. Which makes personal hygiene, personal cleanliness and regulations necessary. If not themselves, who will they  count on to stay clean?

“The school is dirty, and it’s not really the issue of cleaning but the amount of people consistently in and out of the building every day,” Holloway said. “The contact with germs, and close contact with each other is more a personal thing people can work on, the school is a very public place, so protecting yourself is important.”

With vaccinations growing, infections rising and new symptoms appearing, the students and staff ask: how can the school welcome new regulations without disrupting the flow of class? How can students develop better habits of cleanliness in the time they are experiencing? What else must go on before the school district decides to ascertain the situation? To attempt weekly cleaning? 

“It’s also a little annoying how the school’s cleaning is lacking in certain areas,” Holloway said. “ The bathrooms should be cleaned better, and the locker rooms, from experience, are not that sanitary. I often wonder how often the showers and stalls are clean.”

In light of these views, students and staff hope soon there will be an option, a possibility to impose on one day a week to clean and  to facilitate change in cleanliness the school-unfortunately-needs.