Sicknesses spread around McLean

Students are starting to face the seasonal flu

Junior Sam Urwin takes measures to protect his personal safety by frequently washing his hands. (Sandra Cheng)

Germs flood McLean as students spread mucus from their congested noses and hacking coughs all over the hallways and classroom. With the overpopulated state of the school, students are in a contagious hotbed of disease right now. With this, it is clear that the McPlague has struck again. 

“A lot of people are sneezing and coughing in my room, blowing their noses,” Entrepreneurship teacher Debra Dove said. 

With school just back in session and the approaching cold weather, many students are catching the annual sickness this time of year brings. 

“I was very sick,” senior Max Irish said. “I didn’t want to go to school. I had a big headache and missed a few days of school.” 

While the 2021-2022 school year had an implemented mandatory mask policy for most of the year, the current school year does not, causing many students to go maskless now. 

“I think allergies may be part of it, but I think that part of it is that we were just so used to wearing masks, and then we didn’t get sick that much, but now we’re kind of back in the germ field factory, and we’re getting [sicker] more easily because of it,” Dove said.   

Students note that limited mask-wearing goes entirely against the focus of safety precautions during the pandemic.

“A lot of people are getting sick,” senior Max Irish said. “So obviously, people not wearing masks [means] more kids are getting sick.”  

Although most students and teachers have become more carefree about COVID-19 and not wearing their masks, some continue to fear the dreadful virus.

“I got COVID over the summer, and it was not fun,” junior Coby Lin said. “I had a sore throat for two weeks.”

Lin is one of the few students that have been wearing masks since the start of the school year. 

“I’ve been wearing a mask since the beginning of school even though most of the school has stopped wearing them,” Lin said. “[It’s] a measure of personal safety.” 

Some students prefer the mandatory mask-wearing policies that were enforced last year. 

“Honestly, I’ll do anything at this point to make sure I never get sick like that again, even if that means wearing the masks that make me claustrophobic again,” Irish said. “When stuff like this happens, I feel like we’re going back to COVID times, which I never want again.”