School & sanitizing: Keeping distance in the new year

design: Mazzy Seigneur
permission to print photo: Kendall Cadegan

The past year has been a whirlwind of events and frequent changes because of the pandemic. With the new regulations and the missed events, this school year will forever be remembered.

Next year’s plans are still undecided and predicting what will happen next is unrealistic because whatever the school district decides will depending on how the COVID-19 levels are at the time. An increase or decrease in cases will lead to different mandates and a similar case level to the current level would probably mean similar mandates to this year.

It will still be important to take precautions while we are all together in the building. Masks and trying to not be all bunched together will be beneficial to permanently end the pandemic.

The mandates will likely be the same through the whole district so it is important to also acknowledge the younger kids in preschool and elementary school who won’t be able to receive the vaccine. Even the students up until high school who aren’t 16 won’t be able to get it until older people have.

Because of this, masks will help the younger students and keeping space will continue working to slow the spread. The CDC currently still recommends mask wearing in school settings as well.

With the rising rates in areas around us like Franklin County which is now back to a purple level of cases, it is apparent that the coronavirus is still very much alive. Assuming more people will be travelling in the summer will end up contributing to the cases so adequate regulations will help reduce the numbers at the time.

Additionally, COVID-19 vaccines aren’t a guarantee of immunity, they are just another preventive boundary put inbetween (or in) people and the virus; their purpose is to lessen the symptoms and severity if you were to get it. Even with a large amount of people receiving the shot it won’t automatically shut down the virus. That is up to us.

Sanitizing the desks and areas many students are around daily should be continued as it is a good idea whether there is a global pandemic or not. Not only does it help stop COVID-19 cases from rising but it also protects students from the flu, germs and other viruses.

Similarly to the sanitation of desks, sanitizing our hands and washing them frequently stop everyone from spreading their germs. This should have been common before COVID-19 began because it is a part of basic hygiene. However, now it has even more importance.

This past year was full of unprecedented events but Olentangy managed to get through the year without having an extreme number of COVID-19 cases arise. This proves that many mandates made worked like: masks, hybrid school, social distancing of three to six feet, frequent sanitizing, more lunch space and one-way hallways were all beneficial to us.

Nevertheless, this year it seems like more could’ve been done but it would be up to each individual person to have their masks on right and to stay away from others. Maybe more administrators and teachers could have put more emphasis on certain things, but ultimately it has been up to students to decide.

In an ideal world, a return to normalcy would be amazing. A world where people can see each other’s faces and sitting by others in lunch and classes was once something that was expected but now would be a privilege.

But is a world without masks truly attainable? In the future, yes, but by next September no.

The truth is that we will not know the answer to what the future will look like until people are living through it, so who knows if the speculations will even be correct. All there is to know is that time will tell if people get the outcome they want.