Back to school means back to cold and flu season and the spread of germs. But being sick isn’t always enough to keep students and teachers from showing up to school. Missing only one day of school can be stressful, but by showing up, more people get sick.
Being behind on work in every class and having to find time to make it up with already busy schedules makes taking a sick day stressful. Although students can miss school for sicknesses with a parental note, they still choose to come in so they can stay on top of their work. “If I miss school I’ll be too far behind in my classes, so it’s better to just tough it out and come when I’m sick,” senior Osagie Aimiuwu said.
Students are not the only ones who come in when they’re sick. It’s also hard for faculty to miss school because they have to plan ahead so the students can still learn while they are not there. “It’s easier for me to come to school when I’m sick than get a substitute,” social studies teacher Jennifer Bauer said.
Being sick at school makes contagious sicknesses spread quickly. Being in school all day with students and staff allows germs to travel easily. “The main cause of frequent colds or illness is your child being exposed to new viruses. Viruses increase… when we spend more time crowded together indoors,” according to St. Louis Children’s Hospital.
Stress from classes and extracurriculars can cause students to not get enough sleep or be overworked. This can lead to tiredness and colds. Taking care of stress and allowing time to wind down gives staff and students a chance to stay healthy. Teachers try to encourage students and other staff members to miss school when they are sick to allow themselves to recover. Taking a sick day means, germs are less likely to be spread, so other people are less likely to get sick.
Teachers help students make up their missed work and catch back up to the rest of their classmates. “If a student emails me when they’re sick, I send them whatever they missed and give them time to make it up,” Bauer said.
To prevent spreading sickness at school, people can wash their hands often and avoid touching their face. Not getting too close to other sick people and taking preventative measures are other effective ways to stay healthy. “When other people are sick in school, there’s nothing you can do but keep your distance and use hand sanitizer often. It’s hard when one of your close friends are sick,” junior Nadia Emran said.