Concerns arise over fear of new COVID variant

Andrew Epp, Bilingual Editor

“It feels like we’re going around in circles and it never stops.” 

Those are the words of Gavin McDonald, a Tualatin senior, as he recounts his experiences during the pandemic. The COVID-19 virus has ravaged the world for over one year. As the battle against the virus rages on, many have celebrated the mass reopening of public spaces and schools.

However, it seems that the virus has other thoughts in mind.

Within recent months the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has discovered the COVID Mu variant, which, much like its counterparts – to name a few, SARS-COV2 and the Delta variant – has been shrouded in mystery.

“It seems like the pandemic keeps on dragging on,” McDonald said. “Like anyone, I have my concerns. As we go back to school I’m worried that schools will have to shut down, which is a real possibility.”

The new variant has been detected in every state but Nebraska, while effects and even the potential cause of mutation remain unknown. The virus has piqued the concerns of many  major companies like Apple, Microsoft, Google and Uber Technologies, who have made the decision to push back in-person start days. Announcing the pushback dates in mid July, these corporations fear that the October start date is far too close for comfort.

In public schools, there is a similar fear among students and staff that disruptions to the year are far from over.

“I feel that if things do get out of hand, the school will have to shut down… just to keep everyone safe,” McDonald said.

With corporate offices delaying their start dates and the fear of the new COVID variant, many are concerned and scared about the future of the 2021-22 school year. To add to the chaos, many stores are fearing a shortage of essential items like toiletries and personal hygiene goods. Other businesses, like gyms, are determined to remain open despite an emerging surge in COVID Mu cases.

“You know things keep popping up, and that’s the way it’s going to have to be for a little while,” McDonald continued. “Yes, it’s a cycle, and hopefully it doesn’t last for too long…I think that schools might possibly get affected. I think there is a chance we might go back to online. I hope we don’t, but there is a chance.”

As schools settle into a new year, experts are still afraid of the toll this might have on the school systems. Recent delays to bus routes and a shortage of bus drivers have left many TuHS families concerned. Furthermore, a still tender economy is recovering from the deficits that came with the pandemic.

Students and staff wonder what this spells for them as we continue to move onward this year.