COVID-19 threatens to shut down schools across the U.S.

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Erwan Pal

Face masks can help prevent the spread of the virus by limiting the amount of exposure.

COVID-19 is becoming more of a threat to schools in California, and, with the increasing numbers of people contracting the virus, most schools have officially closed until further notice.

As of March 10, several schools in the Bay Area have all shut down due to COVID-19. To learn more about correctly which schools are closing, go to NBC Bay Area

“Carlmont, at this moment, does not plan to shut down. Many things can change because right now we are getting information quickly, but at this moment we have not started any talks of closing down. Of course, if something happens like at Menlo School, where a staff member catches the virus, then we would close down, however, because we don’t have any information, there are no plans to close down at this time,” said Ralph Crame, Carlmont’s principal. 

To keep yourself safe, the American Red Cross promotes avoiding close contact with people who are sick, as well as staying home when you are sick. Also, covering your nose and mouth with a tissue or your elbow when you cough or sneeze to prevent the spread of germs. It is also recommended that you wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, get plenty of sleep, stay physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.

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“I’m making sure that I’m following all of the guidelines that are put out. To the students, I would always recommend washing your hands, not having unnecessary contact, and not touching your mouth. If you feel ill or if you are scared about the virus, I would recommend staying home. It is your best option not to get sick and not get others sick,” Crame said. 

Students can prepare by keeping hand sanitizer in their backpacks and tissues on them even if they don’t need it. 

“I have hand sanitizer in my backpack, which I use before lunch to clean my hands, and in case I touched something, I keep a little pack of tissues in my backpack as well. I realize that now it is in California and that there is a large population of people here. We could be walking and interacting with sick people without even knowing it,” said Nicholas Voong, a sophomore. 

As cases continue to grow, students and staff members must follow all precautions to make sure they are healthy and safe. 

“We have hand sanitizer all over our house, and I make sure to wash my hands before I eat or touch my face or anything. At school, we use computers used by hundreds of other students, so if one of them is sick, then we all become susceptible to becoming sick,” said Joshua Sun, a sophomore. “I think that there is a lot of anxiety right now, not just for students but also for teachers. They interact with hundreds of kids a day, and who knows if one is sick, which risks the teacher becoming sick so if they interact with students, they can get other students sick as well. It’s a chain reaction. One thing leads up to a greater and worse result.”

One question that many people have is if school shuts down and we miss school days, when will those days be added and where. 

“If we close, we do not know at this point when we will re-add the days that have been missed. It may be a couple of days or weeks, so at this point, we have no clue when we add the school days again if we close,” Crame said. “Again, if you are truly scared about COVID-19, then I would suggest staying home. You can make up the work you missed, and your teachers should be understanding if you stay home.”