Thanksgiving gatherings cause concern regarding COVID-19

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Credit: Sidney O'Rourke

With Thanksgiving just finished and many family members meeting up, returning to school in an in-person hybrid model has some students concerned. However, students like Junior Kevin Luo believes as long as everyone returning has followed the proper procedures, we can remain in a safe, hybrid model. “It was just harder to pay attention,” Luo said. “We just [need to] pray that all the college students took a legitimate test and people are still respecting the rules.”

Brasen Chi

With COVID-19 cases on the rise following Thanksgiving and critical risks still associated with the pandemic, many are wondering if it’s logical to return to school in-person after the short break.

In a survey conducted by WSPN, 16% of students who responded had or have a sibling staying in their home who attended college this fall semester.

“I have a sister attending college in Indiana,” junior Jasper Scherz said. “Right now, [Indiana] is impacted by COVID-19 heavily, but she’s coming back for Thanksgiving regardless. Obviously, she has to get tested before she comes back, but it’s still not ideal.”

In Indiana, there are currently 327,000 cases of the coronavirus. Scherz wants his sister to return, but he wonders if it’s worth it with school starting soon after.

“Even if it’s hybrid, I think both cohorts are at risk, especially since it’s hard to guarantee that everyone has been tested,” Scherz said. “If all siblings are returning like my sister, then wouldn’t the risk be high?”

Scherz isn’t the only person concerned about returning to school, as many people wished for hybrid/in-person school to be delayed by at least a week. 40 out of the 69 survey participants stated they were concerned about starting hybrid school immediately. 18 respondents weren’t concerned, and 11 were impartial.

“I think it depends on how diligent families with college-aged students are in quarantining and getting COVID-19 tests,” sophomore Odelia Lu said. “But as a precaution, I’d say [one to two] weeks [of break] after Thanksgiving.”

WHS conducted classes normally during the week of Nov. 30. With this in mind, some students such as junior Grace Stephenson were concerned about returning to school even if they don’t think it should be delayed.

“I don’t think it should be delayed, but I think people need to be really careful,” Stephenson said. “People just have to be mindful of the risks and follow the current guidelines.”

Junior Kevin Luo seconds this opinion as well.

“I mean with the current situation, obviously it’s best to delay hybrid by a week or so,” Luo said. “But I don’t think it’s worth it because the school schedule/curriculum is already so messy.”

Luo is hopeful that WHS is able to continue in-person classes`

“I really didn’t learn anything during full quarantine when everything was online,” Luo said. “It was just harder to pay attention. We just [need to] pray that all the college students took a legitimate test and people are still respecting the rules.”

In the end, this is a completely new situation for just about everyone, and all people can really do is just wait and see if and how things are affected.

“I hope going to the hybrid schedule as soon as we get back works,” Luo said. “I don’t think I’m being optimistic as people have to quarantine for fourteen days or get a test before traveling to Massachusetts. I can only hope that all the family members coming in did that.”