Though the effects of the pandemic vary depending on the individual, the whole world has collectively endured a time of darkness. Thus, holding safe school events seems like the least we can do to liven people’s spirits.
Many have argued that COVID-19 has robbed students of their formative years. Younger students cannot work on forming social skills, as safety measures limit their only opportunities to do so during breaks.
The pandemic has even robbed high schoolers of this because attending physical school usually allows them to develop social skills and discover their passion. At Palmetto, all club meetings take place over Zoom whether the members attend school physically or online. Zoom causes many students to disengage and keeps students from finding new hobbies and interests through extracurriculars and creating new friendships.
However, these safety measures enforced by schools play a significant role in why positive cases in schools remain low. Though students should have access to the activities that make school enjoyable, the precautions are understandable. Meanwhile daily activities like extracurriculars and breaks increase the risk of spreading the virus, sporadic school events offer a chance for students to actually go out and have fun safely.
While virtual events pose no risk of spreading the virus, small, outdoor gatherings where everyone practices social distancing and wear masks to poses only a small risk, according to the CDC.
Palmetto, specifically, has succeeded with precautions. Student council has successfully held small and safe on-campus events during school hours, such as the Fall Festival. Of course, these events have remained limited to physical students.
Schools can hold fun and safe events to cheer up students and faculty. Drive-in movies, for example, pose a very low risk of spreading the virus and brighten spirits. Students’ better moods could carry over to the classroom, as they may feel more motivated to attend class.
Sponsoring safe events teaches students that they can go outside and enjoy themselves in a safe way; they do not need to break precautions in order to live out their youth.
In 2021, spreading COVID-19 remains all too risky. Therefore, schools should not hold any events, even if they take precautions.
While many upperclassmen feel upset they cannot celebrate their senior year or other years in high school, I do not think it is worth getting ill over. The pandemic has not ended, and everyone should keep their guards up, even if schools host events.
While many believe they may miss out on the high school experiences, is it all really worth risking contracting COVID? Why hold an event when the experience will not feel the same, especially with all the rules and regulations.
Additionally, most people will feel frightened. The possibility of one or more of the people in the room carrying the virus would ruin the whole night. This uncertainty may not bother some, but for those who have taken strict safety measures over the course of the last couple of months, it could pose a huge issue.
Students who attend school physically also do not benefit from schools hosting events because they run the risk of getting quarantined due to the event. During quarantine, students do not have permission to return to school for two weeks. Staying home and doing My School Online hurts some students academically. It enables some students to slack off on assignments — one reason why many students have fallen behind while online. Therefore, schools not hosting any events eliminate the risk of quarantining large portions of the student body.
Schools would also have to use their own money to host the events, just for students to potentially catch COVID-19 and fall ill. Instead of holding events, the school could use the money for other things that benefit everyone like classroom and sanitation supplies.
Having events take place in school does not seem like the most cost-efficient or safe thing to do. While unfortunate for upperclassmen, it remains the safest, most responsible course of action. This way, everyone can enjoy the 2020-2021 school year.