Staying home when sick to keep others safe

The common cold spreads so easily among others, especially in an environment with hundreds of students. It is so easy to get sick when millions of germs are constantly spreading from student to student in even the most subtle ways.

sick student working in class
Student not feeling well due to sickness but still showing up to school. (Haley Harville)

Ever since the pandemic happened, masks are now considered optional. They used to be enforced whenever you went somewhere, I remember students used to get in trouble when they refused to put their mask on during school. Now, students have the choice whether they decide to wear their mask or not. I know many people who choose to wear their mask everyday even if they aren’t sick. 

Growing up, I used to love when I would start to get a runny nose or even a slight fever because that meant I could stay home from school. Sick days were a way to feel refreshed and relaxed from all of the stress school puts on our shoulders. But now, it seems like a totally different story.

It was easy to miss school back then when I didn’t feel that well, but now it feels like I just need to deal with it and go to school. When the constant fear of becoming behind your classes and missing school work is constantly on your mind, it’s hard to just stay home. 

I posted a poll on my Instagram page asking people if they have ever come to school sick and if they only came to school sick because they were scared of missing their education/ falling behind in their classes. I received a total of 73 responses and the results were a little concerning. 

64 out of 73 students voted that they have gone to school while ill and 57 students out of the total 64 students who voted yes, voted that they only came to school because they were worried that they would fall behind in school and miss their education. 

I understand why students decide to come to school even though they are feeling will, I am guilty of this myself. That doesn’t mean it’s right though, especially after the pandemic that happened last year. I feel like saying you’re sick or that you have a cold has a way different meaning now. It seems like these days, you cough in front of someone and they immediately assume you have covid. 

It’s important to stay home when you’re sick because sickness spreads so easily through students. I know falling behind in classes is worrying and stressful but getting others sick and endangering their health is not worth it.