What It’s Like to Go to School During the Delta Variant Surge
By Sophia Mao
As the third academic year disrupted by covid has come to a start, many parents, students, and educators are uncertain over the rules and procedures at schools. Districts were ready to start normally again, but the surge in
Covid-19 cases have brought concerns about safety.
Schools in Georgia, Mississippi, Arizona, Texas, and Indiana have been closed. Many cases are being reported even before schools have been opened. School districts that choose not to have mask mandates are the main issue to these problems.
A lot of parents have been protesting for the usage of masks in schools. Many schools don’t have mask mandates, making children vulnerable. Especially in elementaries where some children aren’t eligible to get vaccinated. In the US, 62 percent of parents agree that masks should be required for unvaccinated students.
This problem has also spread to political debates. Arguments over masks and vaccine mandates are everywhere, especially since states and school districts have different policies. In Texas for example, Governor Abbott made an order banning all mask mandates while experiencing a surge in covid cases. Over 200 children were hospitalized on August 10 from covid-19 in Texas.
Because of this crisis, schools in Dallas, Houston, and Austin retaliated by defying the Governor’s ban on mask mandates. The court backed them up as well. San Antonio’s officials also decided to require masks inside schools despite the executive order.
Most students are going to be taking in-person school either because they don’t have the online school option or they chose in-person school before the pandemic situation got worse. Maria Ramirez, the mother of an 8-year old, told her daughter that she needed to wear her mask if she wanted to attend school in person.
In contrast to the percentage of parents who wanted mask mandates for schools, the majority of parents didn’t want vaccines to be required, according to the Kaiser poll.
Vaccine mandates are probably going to be the next heated debate after mask mandates.