As we all know coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, is the number one topic of discussion in the world right now.  There are many controversies surrounding the Coronavirus.  The most important discussion poInt for students, parents and educators right now is deciding whether to commit to school virtually or be permitted to go back in person.  Some people are wondering why it would be so bad to start in person; however, others are scared of the effects of in-person schooling spreading the virus.  It is important for parents, students and teachers to understand the severity of the current situation.  First, the State of Pennsylvania is already taking action.  Governor Tom Wolf stated that he has vetoed a bill that would allow schools in Pennsylvania to have complete control surrounding sporting events.  This encompasses more than just having people at sporting games, it is also about after school activities and clubs (think drama and band).  Tom Wolf also stated “School districts are going to do what they do, but there’s a virus out there, You ignore that at your peril. You could ignore reality, but that reality is the virus is out to get us.”  Not everyone shares Wolf’s opinion and things have changed since Wolf made this statement.

From pexels.com

Recently, health experts said that Philadelphia area schools may consider reopening very soon.  In the early weeks of September there was not much optimism for school to return in person in Philadelphia or most other metropolitan areas.  Even a pediatrician in the Philadelphia area, David Rubin, stated that he hasn’t seen a “resurgence.”  Rubin has also provided guidance to others in various counties in the state of Pennsylvania.  Despite scientific evidence and medical guidance, some schools are still doing in person lectures.  According to this doctor, starting online for schools in Philadelphia would be the smart approach.  Recently, trouble also started brewing elsewhere such as Chester County. Salwa Suleiman is a pediatric infectious disease physician, and she has stated that the numbers are growing rapidly, and she is very concerned.   Between late August and early September the numbers jumped from 30 to 40 cases per 100,000 residents to double that with 71.3 cases per 100,000 residents.  Suleiman later stated if rates  “continue to increase or stay at this high rate over the next two weeks, virtual instruction will have to stay.”  Ultimately, I agree. It is best for public health and safety if we all have school online at this time.  The virus is growing at a rapid pace, and it is not under control.  Different people are coming in and out of schools, and some are already taking classes via zoom while at college campuses.  What exactly is the point of this? 

From Unsplash.com

If students are on campus they are exposing themselves and others regardless of whether they attend classes. Temple University has also banned any type of parties or large social activities from going on, but college students will find a way.  During the last week of August, over 250 people tested positive at campuses that reopened in the state of Pennsylvania.  Temple stated “City health officials have issued new guidelines. Temple is directing students to avoid all social gatherings in order to limit the spread COVID-19. New COVID cases are coming from even small gatherings.”  There is high fear and anxiety among some, while others are acting as if nothing has changed.  There is no point in putting college students at risk.  I ultimately agree that school should remain virtual and we should stay quarantined for a while, because it is not really worth it to risk our health.


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