C.D.C Recommends Full In-Person Learning for 2021-2022 School Year
By Frank Yin
On July 9, 2021, C.D.C., Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, released its new guidelines on the issue of reopening schools. This is due to the effects of virtual learning on students, the variety of virus situations, and safety issues related to the delta variant.
The C.D.C. has come across multiple conflicts as they have been dealing with Covid-19. There has been political controversy causing the C.D.C to struggle with finding solutions to the pandemic. The Pien Huang of NPR states, “the agency was sidelined and contradicted by the Trump administration, leading to mixed messaging on topics such as mask use, school reopenings and testing”. Trust in the C.D.C. is low because of the mixed messages from the Trump administration. For example, Trump has belittled the importance of mask wearing despite the C.D.C.’s proof.
The decision to return students to school has been problematic for the C.D.C.. However as the Covid case situation improves, they are trying to give students an opportunity to receive better education as well as maintaining safety.
Therefore, the C.D.C. has issued guidelines to make schools fully in-person, while maintaining safety precautions such as mask wearing, social distancing, hand washing, quarantining, and contact tracing. Based on the local health, local officials can loosen or tighten safety measures on mask wearing and social distancing.
The new C.D.C guidelines have received mixed reactions from the public. Some agree with the guidelines because virtual learning has affected student’s mental health, socialization, and education. Having students at home has been a burden for some parents. Parents have to be at home at all times to care for their kids. This can be stressful for parents and may interrupt them. However, some disagree with having their children at risk of the delta variant of Covid-19. Vaccinations have not been available for children under the age of 12, so parents are worried about taking that risk too.
Moreover, having the decision to require masks has been troublesome. Vaccines have allowed students to go to school without having to wear a mask. In a way, this motivates students to participate in-person and in extracurricular activities. NBC says, no mask-wearing if you are vaccinated is “‘to help keep kids in classrooms, as well as participating in any sports or extracurricular activities,”’ said Erin Sauber-Schatz, who heads the CDC's Community Interventions and Critical Populations Task Force.” However, others feel that it is unsafe due to a mix of vaccinated and unvaccinated students.