New implications add on to an ongoing issue: Attending school while carrying contagious viruses

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Jenna Dexter

Students face the decision of whether to attend class when dealing with illness.

Mitchell Wood, Sports Editor

Missing a day of high school is a burden to every student. Naturally, dedicated students will find a way to not suffer the consequences of an absence and force themselves to go to class despite having symptoms of contagious viruses. 

COVID-19 has changed things; the new implications in play for the full capacity 2021-2022 school year have the potential to be devastating, and schools must change their approach with a global pandemic looming. This is especially important when most schools aren’t offering the online opportunities which were utilized last year. Students who are now forced to take time off due to current CDC guidelines regarding the pandemic are put in an unfair predicament. 

Currently, regarding school safety the CDC says, ““Students, teachers, and staff should stay home when they have signs of any infectious illness and be referred to their healthcare provider for testing and care.” many schools no longer have outlet for students to utilize while out of class for a prolonged period

The dilemma of attending school while sick has been something students have dealt with for years and has always been a relevant issue facing crowded high schools across the country. This year, however, things are different. On top of the fact that the flu, strep throat and other viruses spreading in schools is a devastating issue on its own, the spread of COVID-19 and its variants poses a new, much greater threat to not only the students and faculty of high schools, but the towns and cities they are located in. 

The pandemic should be a wake up call for schools nationwide to treat sick students with much more flexibility and fairness and not put the pressure on them to attend and potentially spread viruses to their peers.

Missing one day of school is bad enough, but missing consecutive days due to illness, prevention or any other necessary reasons will put any student in hot water when it comes to their grades.

An unavoidable situation happened to senior Will Fairman at the beginning of the year. “Having COVID-19 at the beginning of this school year drastically set me behind. Since the school is not offering any online school opportunities, my only source of learning came from my friends who would teach me after school,” he said. “Needless to say, after that first week I had to stay after school nearly every day to catch up on material and tests/quizzes.”

Change for the benefit of students’ well-being is crucial. An issue which has been long ignored has larger implications than ever before. It’s disappointing schools have not found a solution before now. It’s unavoidable for schools this school year to put in place outlets for students to avoid catastrophe.