Winter break has passed, and a new semester has begun. Before the winter break started, the school announced that we would have a week of quarantine and then return to the campus again. But now, three weeks have passed since the first day of school, but we are still on Zoom. Staying home and engaging in online school might feel stressful and exhausting, but there are some reasons why it is safer to stay at home for a few more weeks.
First and foremost, the new variant of COVID (Omicron) has a higher transmission rate than the original. This means that now we have more possibilities to get the virus than before, which will lead to a higher rate of quarantines. Quarantine is not good for students' mental health since they don't see any of their friends.
Second, we can't assume that students will wear masks properly. Last semester, we experienced that not every student followed the COVID safety protocols. Many students said that they have seen many students not wearing masks properly, not maintaining three feet distances, or washing their hands before they eat (gross!). This gives a lot more chances for the community to get infected with the virus.
Third, not all students are fully vaccinated. Vaccinations prevent viruses from harming the human body. Even if the virus comes into the body, vaccination helps pass the sick period more mildly. But students in our school aren't fully vaccinated. This means that students have a higher rate to suffer from the virus than adults or other kids.
We also believe that returning to campus would be really great. We miss all of the activities and classes in person. But the point is, our safety - students' safety - has to be the first priority.