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Going to school with COVID-19

What would you do if you got a positive COVID test, just days before finals? Under the CDC and BHM guidelines, a positive test means you need to stay at home for a minimum of five days. However, many students at BHS have had to weigh the academic consequences with the personal and social consequences of their diagnosis. Two BHS students — who each responded differently to their positive tests — reveal the thought processes and stresses behind this dilemma. Their names have been changed to protect their identities.

Finals week has been referred to by some as “hell week”. With only four days to get in every assignment and having tests on everything learned this quarter, It has caused a lot of stress between students and faculty. Getting sick on finals week can be considered a failure to certain people. But what if they had the disease that is forcing schools all over the state to shift to Distance Learning?

“Steve” is a sophomore that has a part time job after school. As policy for that job he must be tested twice a week. Saturday night, he was informed two hours into his shift that he had tested positive and must leave. He had been sick two days before testing positive. Steve mulled over the consequences of staying home. He would miss all five days, if he were to follow CDC guidelines. He ultimately decided that his grades were more important than following the rules. He said that he thinks he made the right decision. He is now attending school asymptomatically, wearing a mask at the encouragement of his parents.

 “Even if I lost my leg, I would still go to school during finals, basically I either go to school with COVID or fail out of all my classes.” – Steve

“Francis”, a sophomore who diligently masks everywhere he goes, felt sick after school. He received a positive test Thursday after school. Upon receiving a positive test, Francis, who is very involved in after school activities, debated coming back to school in order to continue band practice, publications involvement, and an after school activity. He would miss a meet and would miss most of finals prep. He ultimately made the decision to stay home. Missing multiple tests and multiple assignments, with no way to complete them at home, Francis will have to squeeze four days of school work into just two days. 

Even with all the consequences, Francis still thinks he made the right choice. Some students avoid taking a COVID test while sick because a positive diagnosis would derail their sports, activities, and academic life.

“I was considering lying about my test, just so I wouldn’t have to miss three of the last five days of the term.” – Francis

 “I still think it was right to test,” he said, “even with the regrets I have about missing out on a lot”. 

In self quarantine, Francis remains mentally active, spending every waking hour composing music and extending his knowledge of social studies.

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