EPISD should return online

Covid-19 cases are at an all-time high and EPISD is still face-to-face. According to the El Paso Teacher Federation, 74 active cases are currently confirmed at Coronado as of Jan. 14. With the increased number of cases, EPISD should be proactive about the situation and move to online school.

Although virtual learning has various challenges, it is necessary to accommodate the circumstances to ensure the safety of the public. With prior experience and management of virtual learning, EPISD can handle the situation adequately.

The hallways have been emptier as of late, and it’s become the norm to see classrooms staffed by substitute teachers. Many teachers have tested positive for COVID-19, and many more students have succumbed to the illness as well. The risk of exposure in the classrooms has especially heightened.

To mitigate the problem, EPISD must reduce face-to-face interaction. It is in the best interest of students and teachers that we transition to remote learning to ever return to the normalcy and safety of public school.

Safety concerns include the mass spread of the virus. Without enforced regulations such as the lack of mask mandates, students are more vulnerable to the virus. Considering students continue day-to-day life, going out to lunch, sporting events, and the continuation of large congregations, everyone is subject to becoming contagious. In the intersections between buildings, the crowd of students crammed together in one spot makes the risk for exposure and the spread of COVID even worse.

Due to mental health concerns, online school has had major criticisms in the past. The isolation of remote learning takes a great toll on various students’ mental health.

According to the CDC, during June 2020, U.S. adults reported deteriorating mental health conditions associated with COVID-19 and the pandemic overall. Establishing flexible routines, staying organized, making the most of your time can help manage the stress of the new type of learning. To protect students against the deterioration of their mental health, EPISD must take a proactive approach to the welfare of their students.

It would be ideal that we tackle the problem head-on to avoid future complications and disruptions to the classroom. Safety should and is always first. Regardless of the difficulty of remote learning, we should prioritize the lives and futures of our learners and educators.