It seems like forever ago when our teachers announced that, to our surprise, we were leaving school on Friday, March 13th and not coming to school for two weeks. An incredible amount of things has changed since that moment in March 2020 where my entire class had begun clapping, and even the teachers looked a bit relieved that they would have a break. Here we are now, a year and a half later with minimal change, and our school not meeting their word.
At the beginning of the school year, Avonworth Middle and High school had enforced the state mask mandate. However every day I see the majority of students in the hall not wearing masks or wearing masks below the nose and mouth. Coming from a scientifically proven perspective, without your mask covering your nose and mouth securely, it is pointless to wear one in the first place. While this enrages me about how students are bluntly ignoring the rules for health, it runs deeper about how big of an impact these choices of people are leaving on this community. (I dropped in a photo that shows this and a story from 2020 about it
COVID-19 is a virus, which means it spreads and spreads quicker than we could have ever imagined. Though the virus may not “affect” the majority of students every day health-wise, families and strangers can receive COVID-19 from them. Yes, you can be asymptomatic and have COVID-19 and not know, and then you can spread it to everyone if you do not wear your mask. That way, people you will never meet are infected and possibly face death depending on their situation. Especially since the vaccine is not available or working functionally for people with certain diseases and situations in families. Another major problem is arising from this besides asymptomatic travel at school, and that is hospitalization due to COVID-19. (Try using research here – https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/08/210826170205.htm)
Allegheny General Hospital is the closest and is the best medical center (how do you prove this as the best?) for the Avonworth community, however, due to how hard the virus hit, they are on the bridge of having to start making pop-up clinics again. At their most recent hospital log, over a thousand emergency department visits were made. 268 were confirmed hospitalization rate covid cases, however, there were still 750 people still waiting to hear back if they have COVID-19. 1,028 people, parents, children, grandparents, and more are being affected by a rippled-out effect of the virus that is being actually recorded in the Allegheny hospital.
ADD GRAPH ABOUT LOCAL SCHOOLS NOW LOOKING TO REMOVE THE MANDATES – https://www.post-gazette.com/news/covid-19-masks/2021/12/10/north-allegheny-school-district-board-mask-policy-pennsylvania-mandate/stories/202112100099
Seeing as our community is mainly either elderly or parents with younger children who attend Avonworth, we can trace back to where main super spreaders are (A super spreader is when a virus is able to spread in a small amount of time in a certain place, and after this event, the majority of people contract it). Because of the way Avonworth and its students have been handling this pandemic and mask mandate, it is clear that our school is a hotspot for the virus. Considering that nearly all classes are missing a student who is on a zoom call due to them either waiting for a test or having contracted the virus. Though I would assume everyone here has the vaccine it still does not exactly prevent COVID-19, rather it just makes us have more protection against it. (hard to prove hotspot claim….but you could argue that attitudes of students in your classes suggest it’s ripe for outbreaks?)
This is why it is so urgent for students and teachers to start wearing their masks the correct way, and speak out about others for wearing theirs incorrectly.
MAKE YOUR FEATURED PHOTO ONE OF PEOPLE WEARING MASKS