Coming to school when ill irresponsible

Jennifer Sadler, Assistant Photo Editor

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Let me ask you this, how many times do you get sick during the school year? A lot? Not so much? I know I do fairly often, especially during the fall and winter months. Sore throats, sinus infections — they’re not fun. I make an effort to avoid getting sick, like washing my hands regularly, using hand sanitizer, and wiping down the items that I use daily.

Coming to school when you’re sick affects more people than you realize. I’m disgusted by how many of us will do that, and how some students will knowingly infect an object, like sneezing on a desk, without cleaning up after themselves. Call me a germaphobe all you want, but it is truly disgusting. 

Most school days I walk past people in our building who are visibly sick and are spreading their germs around the school. The amount of germs we are exposed to daily is a substantial amount. I highly urge students who are feeling sick or ill to stay home from school.

Here’s some statistics: with 1,873 students and around 160 staff members in our building daily, there are hundreds of items being touched, such as computers, stair railings, door handles, etc. 

On Bigthink.com, Sparks & Honey Cultural Strategists wrote an article called “Humans: 10% Human and 90% Bacterial,” which explains that an average person carries around 100 trillion microbes — little things called bacterium that can cause disease, both in and on our bodies. 

Another fact is that every time we cough, we give out 3,000 germs, and when we sneeze, we give out 100,000 germs. When we cover our mouths when we sneeze or cough, the number of germs we give out is reduced by half as much. 

According to our school nurse, Robin Mall, during the 2018 – 2019 school year, 3.4% of students (786 students) came into the Nurse’s office feeling sick or ill  — including students with injuries. So far this school year, already 3.8% of students (283 students) has come to the Nurse for a sickness — also including students with injuries — and were all advised to go home. 

Now if you ask me, these numbers could be reduced in several ways. If we can control the way we spread germs, like covering our mouths with a tissue or our elbow when we cough or sneeze, and have more times that we clean and disinfect items used in the classroom, that would notably decrease the amount of sickness we carry in this high school. Almost every adult in my life, like my parents and my teachers, always made sure I knew when and how to wash my hands, and I seriously hope you do too.

Oftentimes, parents or legal guardians will most likely force their teenagers to go to school, despite their symptoms. Due to their choices, more students and faculty members are eventually going to get the same symptoms. 

If you are feeling sick and are advised to stay home, do it. It is more than okay to take a couple days to miss school and take care of yourself to get better, rather than feeling miserable all day and involuntarily getting others sick as well. Each and every one of us spread germs unintentionally. We don’t necessarily mean to do it, but it’s a natural human thing that we do.  

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