Washington isn’t ready for Covid-19

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On the first day of school, I wasn’t worried at all. I assumed that Washington would be prepared for COVID, and they would take proper precautions. However, as I walked onto campus for the first time, I quickly learned that a COVID safe school would not be the case. From crowded halls to messy desks, I was surprised at how unorganized things were. If we have to go to school, then it should be safe.

We spend a good 7-8 hours every day, five days a week at Washington High School, so It is reasonable to expect that it should be protected. “I’m vaccinated, so I feel a little reassured, but I still don’t feel completely safe,” one student explained after being asked how they feel about the safety precautions Washington is enforcing. “I’m okay with eating at lunch and stuff, but I think if I weren’t vaccinated, I would have a lot more anxiety in regards to just showing up.” And for many students, feeling unsafe at school is the truth. Even though many are vaccinated and wear masks, some don’t, and we don’t know who these people are.

The same student mentions that it would be possible to add a vaccine mandate to the school because, “Our school system has had multiple vaccinations required for students, and it’s a thing in college too, so why shouldn’t we add the Covid-19 vaccine to the list?” Unfortunately, the school tends to turn a blind eye to many safety precautions making students feel unsafe.

Image provided by PIXAR.

Many schools say that they can’t enforce masks or the vaccine but they do execute the dress code. Although they aren’t the same thing, they both fall under the umbrella of appropriate apparel. Many students, including myself, see this as unfair. We’ve had to put up with the dress code for so many years, but things to prevent a possible safety threat aren’t required?

Some of the restrictions for Covid that are in place have unfairly affected numerous students. Although the hallways are packed and there’s no screening, the water fountains are closed. Once, I forgot my water bottle for PE, and I have 0 period. Because all the water fountains were down, I couldn’t get any water. I figured I could buy some, but the vending machines were down as well.

I feel like if they’re going to be making water fountains inaccessible, then there should at least be free water bottles available, so students don’t have to pay for water. Not to mention, schools won’t be shutting down until at least 5% of the school is infected in two weeks, which at that point is an outbreak.

Instead of waiting for an outbreak to happen, I think it’s better to close schools when there are 2-3 cases so that a large percentage of people aren’t put at risk.

I don’t believe that Washington High School is prepared for COVID at all. They are not ready for situations like students not following protocols, or people needing water, making everything seem disorganized and unsafe. So, how safe do you feel at Washington?

Divya Rajesh is currently a Senior at Washington High School. This is their 3rd year in the Hatchet and their first year as the Editor in Chief. Some of her hobbies include reading, painting, and dancing. Divya is looking forward to working with the Hatchet this year!

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