Have You Heard Coughing in Your Classes?

Sometimes, it jumps me.


Grace Conners, Staff Writer

Lately, I am sure that you have probably looked around your classes and seen a few empty seats. You are probably wondering why that is. Has the fall cold made its way back around or is it something else?

Everyone seems to have different versions of this inconvenient illness. Some are out for one day and come back to school good-as-new while others’ versions are ongoing shown with evidence of the stereotypical hoarse cough you may be hearing in your classes.

The real question to answer is, is it COVID-19? We have been in a pandemic for over two years and have dealt with this deadly virus. Is it coming back around to take out a few more or is it just the yearly cold that everyone and their mother gets? Considering everyone was in isolation for at least year and then wearing masks for another, it would make sense that viruses, even the smallest of them, would make their way around.

It has been quite chaotic with everything that has been going on in school lately like homecoming weekend but I think the best guessed source would be sports. We have over ten fall sports teams so it would definitely not be a weird thing that something is spreading through our athletes. We not only see many other teams but sometimes, we take buses, which are not always the most sanitary way of transportation.

Not only that but we get very up close and personal with these opposing teams, not by choice necessarily, by defense. From soccer, to football, to field hockey, and volleyball, we all make a decent amount of contact with other teams. Some may believe this is the main cause of this issue.

Many of my friends have different versions of the sickness. One of them had a 102 degree fever, others have an ongoing cough and runny nose, while some others have had sore throats.

Additionally, our school this year has passed a new rule regarding student absences in correlation to sicknesses. Unless a student has a doctors note, signed by their physician, they will have an unexcused absence if absent from school that day. So, even if a member of our student body is throwing up and has an 102 degree fever and is forced to stay home by their parent their absence will still count as unexcused.

We should not be too worried over this policy, however, having a few unexcused absences will not hurt you too much. I spoke to our principal, Mr. McCarthy about this and he provided a bit more clarity with this new rule. “In the high school level your attendance is attached to credit for the course. Our attendance policy, which is probably stricter than some, says that you can miss class 14 times for any reason you want. You can go to Disney, you can just stay home because you’re not feeling it, you can be sick, you can do that 14 times, which is more than one day a month, and you can still earn credit in that class.” So, in all fairness, there is much flexibility with being out sick, it just depends on whether it will be excused or not.

However, even without this new policy, our high school is filled with many academically committed students, who would not skip school if their life depended on it. This would mean that majority of our student body would continue to come to school even if they were sick, causing a virus to spread faster.

So, keep coughing in your elbow, at least to cancel out the sound.