OUR VIEW: We know how to keep ourselves safe


artwork by Sydney Gonzales

In the final days of summer lockdown, a variety of news articles that spoke of the reopening of schools and businesses as the end times. Doom and death would befall the world, purely because students would go back to school instead of having to deal with the frustration of distance learning. Now that we’re about two months into the school year, it’s rather easy to believe that everything turned out better than expected–at least here at SHS. 

  With so many other schools having to shut their doors to deep clean or pause classes and athletic programs for several weeks, what exactly have we done differently to prevent a COVID catastrophe?

  It was hard to imagine at first what a mid-pandemic football game would look like. We’ve still taken some great precautions. Firstly, all tickets are sold online, and the actual games take place with a crowd at half-capacity. This might not be the optimal way to fill the stands with fans, especially with frustrations over attempting to buy tickets before they sell out, but at the very least we’re ensuring that footballs are the only thing being passed around at games. The mind boggles when other schools don’t take the same precautions, selling tickets at the gate and not keeping crowd members socially distanced, packing them in like sardines.

  All food sold at concession stands here at our stadiums is prepackaged, in contrast to other schools who sell food like popcorn so that fans are encouraged to reach into each other’s bags and share. Not to mention that some other schools don’t even require masks at football games in the first place!

  Speaking of face masks, our school itself is doing a fantastic job. Though it’s still frustrating to see people wearing a “mask beard” or exposing their nose as if it wasn’t connected to their lungs. Here, you have to wear masks almost everywhere, even to virtual speech and debate events. 

  Ultimately, our school has only had about a dozen handful of cases, each taken care of without major consequences. Interestingly enough, other schools that don’t enforce masks seem to be shutting down from an overload of cases. The predictions are that if 95 percent of the people in the United States would wear a mask, the death rate could be cut by 100,000 this winter.

   As our school brings back online learners for the third six weeks, it is made possible in part by our phenomenal track record of no one contracting the virus in our building.

  In the end, we want to commend the administration and teachers who’ve done a great job in safeguarding us during the pandemic. Our diligence in following protocol is what has kept us safe. If we can handle in-person learning safely during a pandemic, it gives us hope that embracing these precautions nationwide could help us go back to a semi-normal existence.

  As COVID numbers rise each day, we must not back down on the things we have proven to work like wiping down desks, social distancing and wearing masks. The alternative is going back to online learning that didn’t work well for anyone.