At this point, COVID-19 has been with us a while, and most of us have learned how to live with it and have adjusted to a new normal, I.e, mask, social distancing, and rapid COVID tests.
But now, winter is approaching once again. Last year, officials warned that if the U.S. didn’t start to take COVID-19 seriously and begin to strictly follow the COVID safety protocols, then we would be facing a “grim winter”. Not enough people heeded that warning and we did in fact face a rough few months. COVID cases topped that January and thousands of Americans died by the end of the month.
Now indoor weather is here again, which leaves questions and concerns for what we should expect during the cold months. My own concerns are even doubled with the added factor that this year, students are back in schools on the regular. You can tell students to mask-up and stay six feet apart until you’re blue in the face, but the fact of the matter is you can’t watch and control hundreds of students all at once.
Thanksgiving and Christmas–traveling holidays–are right around the corner. This by itself opens the doorway for the international spread of COVID-19 along with this new Delta strand.
My own prediction, from the POV of a student, is unfortunately not all that optimistic. I’m in school, in a tight space surrounded by hundreds of people all day. Are most smart enough to keep their mask on as much as possible? Sure. But It should also be remembered that “indoor months” are accompanied by flu season, which we all know thrives all on its own in the school setting. Adding COVID on top of that sounds like a recipe for disaster.
Lincoln High School junior Diona Groce thinks that dealing with COVID is only a little better than last year. “It’s gotten easier in the sense of us knowing what to expect with precautions; but it’s still hard dealing with people’s opposing opinions on the vaccine and masks in general.”
Taylor Whitby, a junior at Perspectives High School, believes that we might have a repeat of 2020. “I do think we’ll have to go back into quarantine because of the Delta thing that’s going around.”
Groce is slightly more optimistic about the near future but knows anything can happen. “There have been many solutions to a lot of our problems with COVID and one main one being the vaccine. If we were to go back into quarantine it would be hard to hear, because it seems as though life is going back to ‘normal’.”
Obviously there are some valid concerns from people my age regarding the next few months. All we can do now is take the available measures to protect ourselves and others and listen to whatever instructions and updates are given to us from CDC officials going forward. And of course, if you aren’t vaccinated yet, take the time to get the jab.
By Kendal Amos, Junior, Chicago School for the Arts