learn about COVID-19, its impact, and what you can do about it.
I’m sure a lot of you are returning to school right now, perhaps before you’re comfortable doing so; I know that’s certainly the case for me. My school gave us the option to go online, but to speak candidly, it was a really bad option run through a really bad homeschool program. So, like 87% of the people in my district, I chose to go to school in person. Surely they’ll have us start remote with the number of cases in my county, right? Wrong. The cases per capita is less than 1 in 100, almost all the other school districts in my county are starting remote, yet here we are in person. Granted, they split the school into mornings and afternoons, but it’s still really scary stuff. If you’re in a similar boat, hopefully this post will help you!
The most important thing might seem pretty obvious: wear your mask! Wearing it can protect you, but it mostly protects other people (including your teachers who have to be there to keep their jobs!). If your classmates aren’t wearing theirs, or wearing theirs incorrectly, nicely remind them (that means keep the mask over the mouth and nose). It might seem scary at first, but at the end of the day, it’s more important to keep yourself (and others) safe than to have one person be annoyed because you asked them to wear their mask correctly. Furthermore, many states have mandatory mask mandates, which means your classmates may be required to (check if your state does at https://masks4all.co/what-states-require-masks/ ).
The other important thing is to keep a six-foot distance; this means in classrooms, hallways, bathrooms, anywhere! If someone is getting too close to you, either kindly remind them to distance or just move away. If you feel too crowded in a class, consider asking your teacher to sit somewhere else or to move the desks so they’re more spaced out.
The next piece might also seem pretty obvious: wash your hands! Wash your hands (with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds), or use hand sanitizer when soap and water is not available (with at least 60% alcohol), often and always before you touch your face or eat. When I get home from school, I take a shower and change clothes so I’m not worried about touching other things for the rest of the day.
Similar to the latter, clean surfaces often! Clean countertops, doorknobs, etc. in your house (especially after you entered from school and your family members entered from work). It’s also important to clean phones, laptops, tablets, calculators, etc. I also try not to use the same pencils/pens at home as I do at school; even though you should still wipe down these no matter what, it decreases the risk of cross-contamination.
Make smart decisions about the activities you participate in. Even if your state is allowing sports to go on, the truth is it’s not a good idea right now (especially contact sports like football). If you’re in a club, make sure you’re following social distancing guidelines at meetings. Follow social distancing guidelines if you’re hanging out with your friends (maybe it’s not the best idea to right now anyways); make sure social distancing doesn’t stop as soon as you leave the school building.
Last but certainly not least, isolate if you need to. If you feel sick at all, stay home. If you know you’ve been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or is experiencing symptoms, stay home. If one of your family members is feeling sick, stay home. Take your temperature before going to school! At the end of the day, you’re better safe than sorry; cautiousness is how we’ll get through this together. Remember: your actions affect everyone you’re around.
Written by Clara Leach
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