The Stress of Returning and Inevitability of an Outbreak

The+Stress+of+Returning+and+Inevitability+of+an+Outbreak

made in Canva by Catherine Smith

With recent talk of schools reopening many students have been eager to return to school, but for many, this may not be an option. The biggest issue in regards to opening schools is health concerns. Many students at FHS, myself included, live with family members that are high-risk for COVID-19. This includes relatives who are senior citizens, or who have underlying medical conditions.
On top of the current pandemic, there is the added stress of the upcoming flu season. Even with social distancing in place, germs can still spread easily in a confined space, and the risk of the virus spreading is very high.
During the last flu season, I experienced how the flu can severely impact families. My sister caught the flu just before winter break from a friend, and before long it spread to my whole family. For my mom, dad and myself it was just a fever, chills and body aches, but for my sister, it was much worse. Due to her weakened immune system, she caught a terrible infection that lasted between two to three weeks. Every morning I woke up to hear my sister crying in pain, there were numerous trips to the ER, one even a 2:00 a.m.
My sister eventually recovered from the flu, but what if it happened again? What if the flu sent her to the hospital again? What if she’s exposed to COVID-19 while at the hospital? Some people try to dismiss the severity of COVID-19 by comparing it to the flu, but I feel those people forget how bad the flu can be for someone with a vulnerable immune system.
And then there is the matter of outbreaks. They are inevitable no matter when schools reopen, but sending students back to school poses an important question: can we handle an outbreak if schools do reopen? With vaccines still in the early stages of testing, it will be difficult to prevent or fight against the spread of the virus with no current antidote.
Reopening schools in November will cause an outbreak of the virus that we cannot vaccinate against, further the spread of germs and put not only the health of FHS students in jeopardy but that of their families. Though online schooling is difficult, schools should postpone the reopening of schools until January.