You’re a Fool to Go to School!

Hannah Watters, a student at North Paulding High School in Dallas, Georgia, took a photo of packed halls on the first day of school. Watters was suspended after the photo went viral

Courtesy Hannah Watters

Hannah Watters, a student at North Paulding High School in Dallas, Georgia, took a photo of packed halls on the first day of school. Watters was suspended after the photo went viral

Nousha Aldhefery

Around the world, there has been major controversy over whether kids should go back to school during this COVID-19 pandemic. Some students and families feel as if the pandemic is a hoax, or that not opening schools would tamper with kids’ educations and their futures. Other families feel as if protecting children during this pandemic is more important than risking being in a classroom. Where I stand? Schools should be closed, and stay closed to protect students, protect staff, and protect family.

I work in a retirement home, and if I were to go back to school, it would petrify meIf I get COVID-19, it is guaranteed that almost everybody at the establishment would have the virus, meaning many lives will be lost in the fortune of my hands. Now, do I feel as if it would slow our education down? Maybe, it’s too early to tell. However, many kids could learn the education later, because the moral of the story is, their lives are more important.

Even if schools open back up, and kids are required to wear a mask, it would go into shambles. Kids don’t understand the concept of masks, or social distancing. Little kids in elementary school want to play close! If one kid has a Green Lantern mask, and another kid has a Batman mask, why wouldn’t they want to trade for the day? Kids are a germ fest, and in an era where we should fear germs, we shouldn’t have them near each other.

A world where children are forced to go to school during a pandemic is perilous. An example of this statement is when the Cherokee County School District decided its reopening in Georgia, which ultimately ended in around 1,200 kids and teachers quarantined after the first day, due to a spread in the school from one second-grader. Using this statistic, if Sahuaro were to open even for a day, the pandemic would spread to thousands of families, residents in retirement homes, essential workers at the grocery store, your favorite local Dutch Bros., and everything else you can imagine.

Not to mention Arizona being one of the states with the highest cases in the U.S. with over 191,000 confirmed cases and around 4,000 deaths; this pandemic also attacks those with weak immune systems. While most kids have strong immune systems, it’s also apparent that many students could have unknown cases that make them immunocompromised and vulnerable to the pandemic.

Some schools haven’t even resulted in the safety guidelines of 6-feet social distancing. In this photo, the blue zone is for teachers only, the seats are 2.5 feet apart, and masks are optional. Does this look like a classroom opened during a pandemic? I say it looks like the classroom I was in 6 months ago.

The only way to stop this pandemic is to have everyone on-deck (of course, 6 feet apart) with the safety guidelines. To give a brief history lesson, the Influenza pandemic, sparked in 1918, was one of the most intense pandemics in history.  Over 500 million became infected, leading into 50 million estimated deaths. From this pandemic, we learned that shutting down schools would stop or slow the spread by 40%.

Shutting down schools and protecting kids shouldn’t be politics, it should be a morality. The key of the pandemic is to have patience and reminding yourself that when you’re at home is when you’re the safest. Please, stay home, wear a mask, and stay away from germs!