New year, new variant: Students, staff ride another COVID wave

By Elise Rothenburg, Staff Intern

COVID-19 cases had been low nearing the end of 2021, but as January started, cases spiked yet again. According to a staff email, 45 new cases were reported at school the first week back from winter break, compared to none a month earlier.

As the omicron variant began to spread more and more, like back in 2020 plenty of events were canceled or postponed, including “Hamilton ” Broadway shows, and NFL games. Some countries, including Netherlands and Austria, closed their borders and went into lockdown again. Closer to home, the club fair had to go online due to the variant.

Freshman Emmy Melendez was frightened by the surge.

“I was worried that not many people would take precautions to the current pandemic conditions,” Melendez said.

Despite the virus, some students still didn’t wear masks, follow social distancing or avoid large gatherings.

“I personally am not worried about the variant itself, since there are vaccines to help, but I do worry about the transition back to online school,” sophomore Alyssa Bianchi said.

With the increase in cases, more students and staff had to quarantine again and use Microsoft Teams to keep up with class meetings. Algebra teacher Diane Barbic hoped that schooling would not return to being entirely online.

“After living through an entire school year online,I feel that many students took advantage of the situation and cheated their way through:joined the call, but did not participate, showed up late, left early, etc.,” Barbic said.

Bianchi also did not want to return to remote school.

“I would be sad I wouldn’t get to see my friends if we still had Microsoft Teams meetings,” Bianchi said. “Plus, I feel like I have a harder time online than in person learning.”

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