Waking up in the morning with a sniffle or a cough used to not be that big of a deal. You would take a couple DayQuil and head to school. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, showing up to school a little sick was pretty normal. Staying home was only for when your temperature hit over 100 or it was absolutely necessary. But nowadays, after COVID-19 spread widely enough to keep us all locked inside for months, people are a lot more cautious when their classmate comes in coughing up half a lung. Coming to school with a mild cold might seem harmless, but it can be pretty devastating for those around you.
The classic excuse that missing school isn’t worth it is used often. Nothing is more important than being completely caught up on work, even if it comes with the risk of infecting those around you with whatever ailment you have. However, it is up to the student to inquire with teachers about the work they are missing and make it up once better.
If you keep going to school and about your regular routine, even with what starts as a regular cold, it can quickly deteriorate into a more serious illness. If you don’t take the time to rest for a day or two when it begins to get bad, you might end up having to miss another week to recover from a sickness worse than the one you began with. With flu season right around the corner, and cold season quickly developing as we move deeper into fall, it’s important to remember that your body needs to rest in order to heal.
Infecting others is a serious consequence. You can make someone seriously ill by attending school with a contagious cold, especially if you aren’t wearing a mask during that time. People who are immunocompromised can be significantly affected by even just a common cold, and attending school while sick can be devastating for those people. What is a common cold and stuffy nose for one person, can be significantly worse for another.
As a reaction to living in a pandemic, people can be hypervigilant when it comes to coughing or sneezing in classrooms. It can be unsettling for some when the person next to them sneezes without covering their mouth, possibly spreading germs to all the desks around them.
If you’re sick, and worried about whether or not you should stay home, while it sucks to be home and bored, it is crucial to do your part to not infect others.