It is not safe to return to school yet

Amilia Velez, J1 Reporter

Students at Bowie High School and all over AISD are returning to school, but I don’t think it is safe to do so in the middle of a pandemic. 


Students are sitting indoors with little air circulation. While the desks are placed in a socially distanced arrangement this won’t stop the virus from spreading. According to Healthline, the droplets that could contain COVID-19 can travel up to 26 feet. 


COVID-19 is an infectious virus that is spreading all over the world. According to The New York Times, Texas has just surpassed a total of one million cases and is reporting about 6,000 new cases every day (as of the completion of this story in late October). 


With kids returning to school the virus will continue to spread and the cases will start increasing. Although students are required to wear protective facial coverings, these masks are not foolproof and the virus can still transmit between people. 


The timing for the return of students is not ideal. The flu season ranges from fall to early spring. According to the Center of Disease Control, if a person were to contact the flu they would be at a very high risk of COVID-19.  The approaching winter season means the UV rays from the sun will not be as strong. UV rays kill the virus so the lack of sunlight will not be beneficial in slowing the spread of COVID-19.


It is not necessary to return to school when virtual learning is still an option. Bowie teachers have been doing a great job adapting to the new situation and are offering enriching lessons. Although some people claim that virtual learning is not a sufficient way to learn, we are covering the same material as we would in person. Teachers also offer many one-on-one opportunities for instruction through FIT sessions and after school tutorials. 


Many people believe that it is safe to return to school because the death rates for COVID-19 are very small in young people, but they are not thinking about the bigger picture. If a student were to contract COVID-19 at school they would go home and transmit the virus to their parents and even grandparents. Furthermore, any time they would go out in public they would be putting many people in danger. There are too many risk factors for students to be returning in person learning right now. 


I believe that there will be a time that going to school will be safe, but the time is not now. I think that it will be safe to return when the cases are much lower in Austin and testing is cheaper and more accessible. For now, virtual learning is an adequate way for students to learn. Virtual learning will keep more people in our community safe and healthy.