Flu season fiasco: Why sick students need to stay home

Miko Miwa, Staff Writer

As winter draws near the prospect of snow and days off increases. The chances of one catching the flu, unfortunately, increases as well.

At Jefferson many students fall ill sometime throughout the school year, whether it be a common cold or a retching stomach bug. No matter the case sick students are always left with the question of whether or not they should go to school. For the sake of physical health, it only makes sense to stay home and put one’s energy towards recovering. However, the concern about missed lessons and a build up of homework can influence people to second guess their decision.

FCPS policy states that students should stay home if they have symptoms such as rashes, watery and inflamed eyes, fever, sore throat, vomiting, or diarrhea until a doctor says that the student is not contagious. This is a rule that many Jefferson students, including myself, have broken. And while it may not seem like that big a deal, after all prolonging illness is nothing compared to the mountain of work that would be awaiting to be done, going to school does a lot more harm than good.

For the person who is sick, delaying their recovery can lead to worsening of their symptoms and making them more vulnerable to other illnesses. Schools are also not environments that help people get better, staying hydrated can be hard because it could lead to an increase in the need to use the restroom, and one cannot rest their body if they are constantly forced to stay conscious and alert. There is also a strong chance that a sick student will not be able to fully concentrate on any lessons, making coming to school a bit redundant.

Not staying home when sick can also negatively affect the students and staff who are around the ill student. For this reasons specific viruses tend to linger within Jefferson, infecting person after person for weeks, and even months at a time. When multiple students come to school with different illnesses it can lead to individuals getting sick in ways that can result in prolonged absence and even hospitalization. This adds up to a lot of stalled work and agonizing infirmity, an overall waste of time and energy.

Obviously, no one can force you to not go to school and hide all signs of an illness, but it’s our responsibility as members of the Jefferson community to make sure that we all stay safe and healthy. Listen to your body and do what is best for it, and remember that if you ever feel extremely sick at school the school nurse will be more than happy to help.