Change is inevitable. With every passing day, pandemic rules alternate. With most of the restrictions relaxing, schools are following suit. Monday morning creeps in and students no longer have the option to stay online. There are mixed reactions from the student body - many exclamations of protest, but some of delight. Some people are happy that life is returning to normal - but what is “normal”? As of now, our school consists of students who grew up in the pandemic and no longer remember what life was like before. Experiences normal to high school students are foreign to us. Current freshman and junior high students don’t know about the sports events, the cafeteria food, or long outside walks on Lisi Lake. What is defined as school life and culture is very far from the view most current students have.
A few students from sophomore year were asked if they think removing the Zoom option was the right decision, and most of them said that they wholeheartedly disagreed. The reason they all seem to share is that COVID still very much exists, even if there are fewer cases and vaccination is available. Mariam, one of the few, said that “I think we’re forgetting what COVID is and the danger it holds. It’s unfair to take away the ability to be able to attend school if you’re, for example, immunocompromised or just afraid of catching COVID. Yes, two years have passed since it started, but in my opinion, I think it just dismisses students' concerns regarding the pandemic.”
A question that is among one of the most prominent, is if sick students should skip school instead of joining online. Before the pandemic, when a student was sick, they stayed home. If life goes back to normal, that would be one of the things to change. If a student is sick, they should rest instead of putting more pressure on themselves. The habit of still studying while sick and attending school is something that became even more pronounced during the pandemic, with virtual mode available for the whole GZAAT.
When there are cases of COVID or quarantine, with proper confirmation, a student is allowed to attend via Zoom, so that is not a valid reason to protest the removal of virtual mode. It’s about time that the world slowly moved from virtual to real world, because there are plenty of options available to avoid catching COVID, and especially for people who don’t come to school because of it, but go to other crowded areas. The vaccines have been available for a long time now, and if you’re scared of COVID so much that you refuse to go to school, get vaccinated. Wear your mask properly and keep a distance. The time has come when there are changes to be made for society to slowly readjust to life without virtual mode.
Edited by Kato Ambokadze