Is Returning to School a Viable Option?

Jocelyn Castañeda

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Jocelyn Castañeda

A student eagerly raises his hand in order to get his teacher’s attention, who is focused on her Zoom students rather than the ones in class as well. Returning to school will most likely mean teachers will have to juggle both in-class and online students, which will serve to be very difficult.

It’s October now, but we had originally thought we’d be back in school by May at the latest. As time goes on, we keep insisting that everything will go back to being kinda normal in no time. But 2020 really wanted to play a joke on us that is by now far too old and far too brutal.

At this point, it’s understandable that some of us are fed up and want to return to school in person, but with little progress in cracking this virus, I wonder if going back for a hybrid schedule is just too soon.

Social distancing, wearing masks and good cleanliness can be practiced, but we still would have to come to terms with the fact that we’ll be at a higher risk of catching Coronavirus or some other sickness. Even if some do not believe that this virus is harmful, or even don’t believe in it at all, you can’t deny that the fall and winter seasons always lead to a spike in illnesses. With our immune systems being weakened from not being exposed to much of the outside world recently, I have a feeling we will react really poorly to any sickness.

Now if we do end up being lucky enough to feel fine, we’ll still need to get tested for the virus and have to quarantine for 14 days. I haven’t had to be tested yet, but I’ve heard from others that it’s very uncomfortable. We have to remember that our district is not just made up of high school students, but it’s also made up of younger kids and older employees.

Just imagine how our elementary kids would do going back to school. They’d be excited to see each other and therefore want to not social distance and probably end up holding hands and skipping or something that requires the breaking of social distancing rules. And I bet getting them to wear masks and wash their hands frequently would be another whole job to add to the teacher’s agenda.

Speaking of teachers, I know a good chunk of them loathe having to teach online and miss our annoying, but apparently, exciting presence. However, I also know that a lot of them have reason to fear teaching in a classroom filled with more bodies than their own. We have staff members that are older in age, and that means their immune systems are more likely to struggle than ours to fight anything off, and others may also have underlying health issues.

Point is, although it would be amazing to go back and have to climb those wretched stairs again, it’s just not worth it yet. Trust me, I keep hoping that we’ll all be able to go back, at the same time, and just enjoy our high school lifestyle. But, I much rather hold off and keep more people protected.

Plus, what’s the point of being back in class if your teacher will still be staring at a screen half the time for those who remain online?