Will we ever open back up?

Our school is hosting our upcoming spring semester online, but not every student agrees with this decision

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The frustration of navigating our world through the internet and our laptops can prove to be overwhelming. (Photo courtesy of Unsplash.com)

Mojané Tolvert, Staff Writer

On Sept. 16, Los Rios Community College District Chancellor Brian King sent an email to all LRCCD students to inform them that the 2021 spring semester at American River College will continue online. Like many other people, I was extremely disappointed when I read the news that morning.

I don’t think the continuation of online schooling is the best choice for our school. I don’t think the continuation of online schooling and only online schooling is the best for any school.

When I think of online schooling in general, I think of those who are struggling right now. I think of those low-income families who had to find a computer and the internet access for their children or themselves.

When I think of online schooling I think of those who are struggling to navigate the system. I think of students, like myself, who aren’t the best online learners and would die for in-person classes to come back.

According to a New York Times article focusing on the hardships of many students, As School Moves Online, Many Students Stay Logged Out, students are just choosing not to participate in online learning, in part because they don’t know what to do. Not everyone has the luxury of having every resource at hand, so people simply shut down and get discouraged from indulging in any kind of work.

Likewise, according to an article by The Verge, a news site that reports on most stories involving technology or science, gave insight from a Bay Area high school teacher who announced that her class attendance had dropped by 60% since everything has switched to online (Depression and absenteeism: online schools are facing issues that no apps can fix).

A lot of people don’t even consider the fact that there are people struggling right now. As long as they’re cooped up in their home; job still in-tact, access to everything; the more-fortunate shouldn’t care right? People are being forced to go live with their other relatives and are forced to make some major financial cut-backs; the pandemic has been making it hard on lots of people.

My own parents are concerned with my youngest sister, who’s currently 10 years old and is in the 5th grade, because she’s not learning like she should be learning. I know my aunts and uncles and many other family friends express that they are concerned for their younger children, because they aren’t getting the education that they would get in a classroom. 

People aren’t getting the help they need. People are stressed out and are not able to continue on with their education properly. Why would I be a selfish individual and hinder any possible, safe efforts to return us back into the outside world?

If you were poor, or less-fortunate or in desperate need, you would accept any safely-deemed plan to get you back and working. That’s the problem with fortunate people. They aren’t struggling so it’s easy for them to ask for another simple shutdown.

The excuse for more shutdowns and lockdowns is all blamed on one thing: the lack of mask use.

A story from Advisory’s website, a site that has medical research, news, and blogs, interviewed a student who got COVID, even though she wore a mask wherever she went (Students are back in school. Here’s what it’s like, in their own words.)

According to Kennedy Heim, a freshman at Elwood Junior-Senior Highschool in Indiana, she said she had no idea how she contracted the virus, considering she wore her mask every time she attended in-person school and only removed it when she was eating.

Regardless if you go to school or not, wear a mask or not, you are prone to get the virus. 

According to an article posted on Komo News, a news site based in Washington, masks really don’t work that well for healthy people (Doctors debunk masks as protection against coronavirus). People tend to blame shut downs and closings on the lack of masks being worn; that doesn’t seem to be the major cause of it all.   

“Masks really don’t block the particles,” Jeffrey Duchin, a doctor and health officer with Public Health-Seattle and King County, said. “Air can come around the side of them and you can inhale the droplets if someone close to you is coughing or sneezing.”

According to Duchin you should be “at least 6 feet from someone who is coughing or sneezing and don’t trust a mask for protection.”

Considering doctors can’t even decide on if masks work or not, with some saying they do and some saying they don’t, why are we still shutting things down and blaming things on mask use? We don’t have one clear answer from every doctor in the world, so all we can do is do our best and try to go on with our lives. 

Other states seem to have realized this; have accepted that things must go on. I envy other states who are still going about their business and attempting to hold some schooling, if not all, in-person. We all should be trying to get back out there; not living our best lives on government charity, not being selfish and thinking about ourselves.