Will Students Self-Quarantine During School Shutdown?

Nathan Miller | Editor-in-Chief

Avon Community School Corporation has closed its doors in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19. Shortly after that was announced, State Health Commissioner Dr. Kris Box said that this is not a vacation. She and the team of Indiana medical professionals had a clear message: go home and stay home while school is closed.

If students will heed this warning is still in question. Will students self-quarantine during the shutdown?

“Definitely not. I’ve already made plans for Friday to go and get lunch with a lot of my friends,” junior Bella Rios said.

Rios said she understands the severity of this virus but isn’t sure it requires a quarantine.

“I feel like it’s nothing to be super scared of as long as you keep in good hygiene and washing your hands thoroughly,” Rios said. “Just [avoid] people who are coughing in your direction. You have no reason to not go out.”

Rios’ views are shared by classmates; shortly after the news was announced, senior Abby Whitlow started inviting classmates to her “quarantine party.”

“I’m healthy and so are the people who are going to be at my house,” Whitlow said, “so hopefully nobody gets it.”

Whitlow’s party was never realized, however, because her parents canceled it. Whitlow said even if it is the best decision for her health, she is not willing to self-quarantine.

“I probably should,” Whitlow said, “but I cannot stay in my house for this long.”

Students are not just leaving their houses to party, however. Senior Chloe Gilmore is using these two weeks of e-learning to pick up hours at her job.

“I asked my managers to work me more since I have the time,” Gilmore said.

Senior Maddy Stephens said she also plans to work during these two weeks, but she will try to limit her contact with people as much as possible.

“I feel like I take care of myself,” Stephens said. “I stay in the house as much as I can unless I have to work.”

Stephens said if anything, her work makes her want to stay home more.

“I witnessed a man sneeze in his hand and wipe it on the wall,” Stephens said. “People aren’t staying in their house when they’re sick, and they’re touching everything and not being careful.”

The CDC instructs people to put distance between one another if COVID-19 is spreading through the community, but there are other precautions that should be taken as well.

According to the CDC, people should clean their hands often, avoid close contact, and clean and disinfect surfaces frequently.

Stephens said she has already taken these suggestions to heart.

“I wash my hands frequently and if I do cough or sneeze, I do it the proper way,” Stephens said. “I wipe surfaces down if I am in public and in my own home.”

Gilmore said these are valid precautions but that there is no reason to be afraid of the virus.

“I don’t think that I should be locked up in my house and hiding from it,” Gilmore said. “If it is inevitable like the health professionals are saying, then I shouldn’t be locked up inside.”

Whitlow agreed. She said she doesn’t think students need to live in fear.

“It’s not that deep, and [you’re] not going to die just by stepping outside,” Whitlow said.

Whitlow said she still supports Avon’s decision to close schools, however.

“I think that was the right decision because I like not going to school,” Whitlow said.

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