Does Shorewood care?

As COVID cases rise, students wonder what the school’s priorities really are

by Angelo Harper, staff

With the month of January behind us along with first semester, I can’t help but think back on how different school has been during the pandemic and how it’s impacted us as students. It has definitely caused a lot of stress for us as our friends and family end up with the cold or the flu not knowing if it’s COVID or not. 

Over the past month I’ve had friends and classmates test positive for COVID and have to stay home and quarantine for weeks while suffering from the symptoms. Even when classes are missing half of their students the school still hasn’t made any changes to their social distancing procedures. All that they really do is notify us whenever there is a positive case at school.

Even when classes are missing half of their students the school still hasn’t made any changes to their social distancing procedures.”

Shorewood prides itself on being a safe space for students where anyone can pursue any classes, clubs, or sports they find interesting. But I can’t help but notice that the school has certain priorities that make me believe otherwise. 

Shorewood seems to neglect issues that should be discussed such as social distancing while prioritizing other matters such as sports and this prioritization could have negative impacts on the well-being of both staff and students since many students have felt understandably uncomfortable coming to school. This, combined with the students who tested positive for COVID staying home, means a lot of students are missing school which is even more stressful since they couldn’t properly prepare for finals.   

Ever since school reopened for full-time, in-person learning, we have had to keep our masks on while in the building however there are almost no elements of social distancing. The Commons is usually crowded and the only seats that are spaced out are the cafeteria tables. According to Student Square, there have been 195 confirmed student cases of COVID as of Feb. 1 at Shorewood and so far there have been no changes to the way that social distancing works which is concerning. 

 Don’t get me wrong. I want things to go back to normal as much as the next person so I don’t have to worry about getting other people sick plus these masks make my facial hair itch. However, if students or staff get too reckless or uncomfortable then we won’t be able to go to school worry-free anytime soon and we could even cause a spike in cases that could put our families’ lives at risk. 

I understand why people wouldn’t want to follow these distancing rules and mandates, and I would be lying if I said that I didn’t slip my mask off at sports games or to eat a maple bar in the hallways on my way to my next class, but it concerns me that there’s a lot of apathy when it comes to social distancing especially since I know people who are unvaccinated and vulnerable to the virus. 

Students should be held more accountable in situations like this especially if there are already confirmed cases — especially at sporting events where people normally have their masks down to cheer and eat. I’m not blaming any of my peers because we’re just doing what high school students are supposed to do. I just think that the school should reconsider what our in-person environment looks like. It’s come to the point where students are feeling unsafe about coming to school due to the rising cases and their friends getting sick.