Students concerned about return to school


Bonny Koo

Sophomore Bonny Koo writes down notes as she learns virtually.

Ellia Kweon, Staff Writer

FCPS has stated the possibility of going back to school in person for two days per week, causing students to feel both excited for physical interactions and stressed about contracting COVID-19. The decision for this hybrid model of going back to school has now been delayed until at least February. 

Many students worry about the possibilities of themselves or their loved ones, especially with compromised immune systems, contracting the virus due to exposure from school. Even with firm regulations in place, there is always a chance of getting COVID-19.

“I think that the rising number of cases has made it clear that remaining home most of the time and limiting your bubble as much as possible is of utmost priority,” sophomore Hannah Moghaddar said. “If I was given the choice right now, I would not choose to go back to school because the COVID-19 scene is exponentially worse than when schools closed down.”

To put it into perspective, schools in FCPS halted in person learning midway through March last year, while Virginia was averaging about 50 to 100 cases per day, according to the New York Times. Now in January as many students and staff prepare to go back to school, Virginia is averaging about 4,500 cases per day. 

I would feel more comfortable in smaller, more controlled groups and, although social distancing efforts are strong in FCPS, managing the safety of hundreds and even thousands of students is extremely difficult and risky,” Moghaddar said. “I believe that the best time for students to return to school is when vaccines are abundantly available to the general public, which I have heard is in the making and will be released soon, but to older individuals first.”

As stated by both FCPS and the American Academy of Pediatrics, procedures and rules that would take place for in-person learning would be making sure to social distance, wearing masks, washing hands, disinfecting and possibly taking temperature checks. 

“I was actually one of the people who initially really hoped for school to start up again as soon as possible, but I changed my mind after I saw how fast the number of cases was rising. That being said I do think that if all students take the necessary precautions and stay mindful of the guidelines, it might actually be safe,” sophomore Paria Karimi said. 

Although many students seem to be familiar with the regulations and procedures that would take place when going back to school, the scare of contracting COVID-19 may still be holding students back from making that decision. In addition, the risk of getting COVID-19 may be heavily impacting those who are battling mental hardships and the downsides that can come from virtual learning.

“I’m definitely happy that in person school is an option this year, because I know that virtual learning isn’t for everyone, including myself, and has been really hurting some people’s mental health and school performance,” Karimi said. “Basically I’m totally for in person learning as long as people actually take social distancing and mask wearing seriously, and if they don’t, I think we should switch back to virtual learning.”