Students are forced to weigh risks of returning to school

The Wolf Staff

With the news teasing the prospect of schools reopening, even with the pandemic in the state that it is, many students wait hopefully from home for the approval from the state and district. Those who never imagined that they could ever miss running after the bus or having to set an early alarm now experience life without school and all of its ups and downs. 

It’s not the homework we miss, and it’s not the hassle of having to defrost our cars at 7 a.m. either. It’s the smiling faces, noisy hallways, the high school experience we were all supposed to receive. All the school-related things we used to complain about, we can see, looking back on it, were just minor inconveniences that we sure won’t complain about again when we return. 

We pitied the seniors last year who lost out on the finale of their high school story. It was as if the home stretch of their four-year journey vanished in thin air. We felt sorry for them while simultaneously feeling thankful it wasn’t us experiencing such a misfortune. But now, as the months blur by, our eyes open to the very possibility of even a greater loss than the 2020 graduates. 

So, of course, we miss the steady and predictable days, where most of our problems weren’t problems at all compared to what we face now. We sit through virtual meetings with crossed fingers and folded hands, praying the universe will decide to end the devastation. 

In response to these cries for help, many districts openly consider holding “school,” in some form or another, but in-person nonetheless. Eager to take back control of our lives, few students would be quick to decline; however, would they be quick to accept? Our immediate reaction would probably be relief and hope for a new start, yet it is easy to wonder if the granting of our greatest wishes might just set us back even further. 

We can’t ignore the rising COVID-19 cases and the ever-present anxious feeling of hoping a loved one won’t have to suffer the effects of the virus. Deep down most of us know that it is impossible to restart school without some sort of repercussions, and it feels selfish to say that the pros outweigh the cons, when the cons very possibly put people’s lives at stake. 

The unluckiest of us have experienced the loss of a loved one due to the virus. There is a sense of guilt knowing that the returning of school could potentially put others through that same pain and grief. A decision that initially seems so easy is actually very complicated, with both outcomes falling far short of ideal. 

Then there are those, perhaps the most resilient of us, who have grown so accustomed to life and learning strictly from home that they don’t even wish to go back. The potential dangers of returning play a part in their opinions, but mostly, they have just learned to live with and make the best of the new situation that they have been forced into. 

There is a whole spectrum of opinions on which every person falls. On one end, some people refuse to return, while on the other end, some people are demanding the reopening of school… and then there are the few thousand in between. Those in between people are all finding themselves in a precarious position, just hoping that they will make the right decision. And it is only typical that we will know the right decision merely after everything plays out, so all we can do is maintain our faith in each other, our advisors and ourselves to join together to reverse our precarious situation one right step at a time.