By Ramir Wearen
As the pandemic continues we constantly hear of new variants and immunizations forming. In March of 2021 another strain called ‘Delta Variant’ was first identified in the United States according to nytimes.com, and as of December first of last year a new variant broke in the US called Omicron. Since then, every week, thousands of cases in the US are reported each day whether it’s Omicron, Delta Variant or the first strain of COVID-19. This has impacted schools heavily even in the last few weeks and there's been a major growth infection rate in teens, youth and teachers.
So much has come with this pandemic and virus over the past few years, deaths of family members, virtual schooling which most students didn't do great in which also resulted in them earning lower grades, grade point averages and lack of understanding curriculum. As of 2022, early-on RCSD closed a great number of schools for about a week due to a bus driver shortage, teacher and substitute shortage which in most cases was due to staff being infected with the virus or having come into contact with those who had been infected.
It is very important that we take the necessary precautions to keep each other safe, especially coming into the New Year. There are many ways that everyone can prevent these viruses spreading within the people who you are around. It's very important to wash your hands, wear your mask, even be aware of taking your mask off in schools when eating in classrooms which is not recommended, lunchrooms etc. According to cdc.gov,”Besides modifying the physical space, schools can reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission during meal service by: Maintaining physical distance between students when picking up meals and when eating. ... Ensuring proper handwashing or use of hand sanitizer before and after eating. Staggering mealtimes for class cohorts.” This is very important information that everyone should be aware of because these could possibly be reasons behind most exposed cases.
This has been such an ongoing thing there's not a day that’s passed in the news in the last year that there hasn’t been consistent updates on those infected, affected and impacted by COVID-19 and its discovered variants in the US.