With all of the chaos surrounding the persisting coronavirus pandemic, especially in America, it is common knowledge and courtesy to stay socially distanced from others at all times, especially when someone knowingly contracts the virus. A vast majority of the world’s population has recognized the dangers of COVID-19’s rapid infection and took necessary efforts to slow it, and even approach elimination in some cases, as was demonstrated in places like Thailand, New Zealand, and much of the eastern hemisphere.
Unfortunately, this is not the case everywhere. As schools began to resume this fall, schools throughout the United States have reported cases of students attending in-person class despite being infected with COVID-19.
District officials from Westmoore High School in Oklahoma report a student attending the first day of school shortly after testing positive for coronavirus.
Reportedly, the parents of the infected student miscalculated the length of their child’s quarantine period. The student themself stated to have been under the false impression that “since they were asymptomatic … they did not need to quarantine for the full … period,” according to school officials.
Because of the misunderstanding, 17 students who came into close contact with the infected student are now in quarantine.
In another instance, a student from Attleboro High School in Massachusetts tested positive for COVID-19 but did not alert the school until a couple of days later, and still attended class in the meantime.
The parents of the student also claimed to have miscalculated the correct length of quarantine, incorrectly believing that it would be safe to return after several days of isolation.
Attleboro Mayor Paul Heroux said, “The parents used very poor judgment, it’s very frustrating. The school department did everything they were supposed to do.”
The superintendent of Attleboro High School supported this, adding, “The district’s prescreening and contact tracing are in place to help reduce the spread of coronavirus, but ultimately there is no way to completely prevent the spread at school.”
At the end of the day, the growing infection can only be prevented by everyone doing their part to social distance, wear masks, and be considerate of others’ lives. Until then, or until herd immunity is built, COVID-19 will continue to keep our lives at a standstill, if not worse.