Should schools close in wake of Omicron variant? (part 2- CON)

Jaden Lea, tech editor

The new COVID-19 variant has caused a sense of panic for many school districts around Arizona, causing them to contemplate shutting down again. COVID-19’s newest Omicron variant is said to spread easier than previous variants, and can still be spread to those with the vaccine, also known as a ‘breakthrough’. according to Johns Hopkins University, Although there is a new variant, it is stated that vaccination, even among those who acquire infections, appears to prevent serious illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19. With all of this in mind, schools are starting to question whether they should go into another lockdown and resume the semester online.
This is a bad idea for many reasons, one of which being the toll that it will take on students’ mental health. When COVID-19 first started rising in cases and deaths, schools were put into an online schooling program, which caused a large number of students to lack motivation and energy throughout the day. Waking up to stare at a screen for seven hours takes a toll on people quickly, especially teenagers who rely on human interaction and socialization to stay mentally healthy.
The previous lockdown led to more long term damage that has taken a while to get somewhat back into normality. Going back to online schooling is a safer idea, however a majority of students already have the vaccine. Students are also young and have healthy immune systems that can fight the illness that comes with COVID-19, therefore students shouldn’t need to stay home from school. Some may disagree and feel that staying home and shutting school down is a safer option. In the grand scheme of things, this can be true, however safety is not a huge concern when it comes to students who are healthy and can fight off illnesses much easier than adults.
Although physical health is very important, mental health is also very important and shutting down the school would only take a toll on students mental health. Socializing is needed for teens as it is a part of growing up and learning proper social skills that help with future job opportunities and much more.
COVID-19 cases have also started to calm down despite the short rise that took place in the beginning of the year.
Closing the school is not necessary as there are far more negative effects than positives. Worst case, students should start wearing masks to prevent the spread of the COVID-19, yet keep students’ social skills and mental health in mind.