The little things could all disappear overnight. (Created by Max W.)
Dean of Students, Mr. Thompson started our year with the express goal of keeping “the little things little.” This meant returning to dress code, and even more importantly, it meant following Covid-19 safety protocols so we can stay at 100% capacity and keep our community safe. It’s disappointing to see that these little things have simply gotten bigger throughout the year.
Students can still be seen wearing hoodies around campus, a perennial issue, but this has taken a backseat to the more pertinent problem: adherence to proper mask usage is alarmingly paltry.
Even if you don’t care about getting coronavirus yourself, find your ‘why.’ Find your reason to protect yourself and others from a virus which could truly be life threatening.
We listened to just a few examples from the myriad of reasons ‘why’: teachers and students living with those who are immunocompromised or comorbidity-ridden or are caretakers for their elders or who have infants and children who are too young to get vaccinations–fears among our community that don’t always meet the eye.
To be clear, this truth does not extend to all of those in our student body. Indeed, the majority of students are following the rules, showing the due respect to our faculty and rules which they so often show us in return in such a tight-knit community. Many students are willing to do whatever it takes to stay in person: to see their kindergarten buddies, to perform their Junior speech, to eat lunch next to their friends.
At Academy, it is easy to take our community’s handling of the pandemic for granted. Students at local schools with no mask mandate could reasonably expect to miss school because too many teachers tested positive or too many bus drivers. But our administration has held the ship together.
So we have been here. 100%, every day of this year – every single day. The academic standards are returning to normal, and so are our social patterns. The biggest boon to this has been our ability as an independent school to mandate mask usage. The science shows it – masks inhibit the spread of the coronavirus. They keep us safe. They keep us present.
Now imagine all of the things you may miss if we aren’t here – if we aren’t present:
The special breakfast PACA brought the seniors? Gone.
Those moments in class that make you laugh harder than you thought you ever reasonably should in a public setting? Gone.
That hello in the hallway said to a friend you haven’t seen in a while? Gone.
Senior lunch? Gone.
The little things could all disappear overnight.
It’s so easy that the lower schoolers are fully complying with mask regulations. So what does that say about you if you can’t?
Covid-19 doesn’t disappear when you walk into an office or a classroom or when you sit down at lunch. It’s here – it’s present. It’s not a little thing. It never was, and surely it isn’t any littler now, with nearly 900,000 deaths from the virus in the US alone.
It’s time to follow the rules. Mask up. Stay safe.
And by the “why,” this is no joke.