The First Two Positive COVID Cases this School Year

By Gideon Bobb-Semple, Section Editor

Many of you know that a few weeks ago, Flint Hill experienced the first COVID case of the year, and last week, we had a second case. Many students have been excited about hybrid learning being an option, but it does come with some risks. One of the most prominent risks is that you are more susceptible to the virus, as a result of being in classrooms with other people. The school has issued a tracing app, which helps the COVID Crisis Team monitor each student in hybrid learning and who they have interacted with. It has been proven effective and has been able to keep students safe for the past few weeks. I interviewed a few students to get their perspective on the situation. I know some were scared, nervous, considering going back to all-virtual school, and some were not phased by the situation at all. 

My first interviewee is Leyla Ustun, a sophomore. She has been participating in hybrid learning from the beginning of the school year and enjoys it very much. My first question to Leyla was what her reaction was to the first case at school. She mentions that she wasn’t surprised and expected it to be sooner. It has brought up a little concern but she would like to continue to do hybrid learning. For the second case, however, Leyla said “I was much more concerned because it was so close to the first case.” She is hoping that she won’t have to switch to all virtual classes and hopes she can keep going into school and seeing her friends. If the cases continue to happen at a more rapid rate, she thinks it might be the smartest option to continue school at home. There are a lot of people who miss their friends and would love to see them in school, but the COVID Crisis Team and the rest of the faculty want to express to students that the virus is not a joke, and people should not be coming to school just to socialize, everyone must maintain their distance. 

My second interviewee is Julian Amankwah, who is also in the tenth grade. He says he thought the school was doing well at first, but the first case made him believe that we should have waited a little longer to reopen. After that, Julian was a little scared of the situation and stayed home for an additional few days. For the second case, his fear dramatically increased. Amankwah thinks that the school should have shut down until Thanksgiving break and not reopen again so soon after a case. With the common amount of time for self-quarantine being two weeks long, Julian believes that four days is not enough time for the school to be closed after a case. Since he is feeling so nervous about school, he has decided to stay home for the rest of the week for his and his family’s safety. He mentioned that the last thing he wants is for it to affect his Thanksgiving break. This is a common idea for many students who are participating in hybrid learning. 

My final two interviewees were Olivia Odoom and Dd Boakye, who are both juniors at Flint Hill. Olivia does all virtual school and Dd does hybrid. Odoom mentions how she was very scared about the first case and was nervous when she got an email notifying her that she was in the red group, but she was confused as to why that was being that she was never on campus. Once she cleared it up with the COVID Crisis Team, she was much less frightened. For the second case, she felt pretty indifferent, not only because of the way she was in contact but because of the fact that COVID cases are rising is inevitable. She also mentions that she will not start planning to begin hybrid learning if cases continue at such a rapid rate. 

Unlike sophomores and freshmen, Boakye goes into school on Monday and Tuesday, so she was on campus closer to when the second case occurred. For the first case, Boakye said it was “bound to happen” and that she was a little nervous, but was still going to come into school. For the second case, however, she was very nervous as a result of juniors and seniors coming into school so soon after the second case. Like Amankwah, Boakye thinks the COVID Crisis Team should have closed down the school until after Thanksgiving break. Like many others, she is considering doing all virtual schooling if cases continue. 

In conclusion, there is a lot of risk in doing hybrid learning. Even though you get to see your friends, everyone must put their safety first so we can eventually go to school in a regular setting.