On Monday, August 23, Green Level students returned masked in hopes to keep our long awaited privilege of in-person learning. Also on Monday, August 23, Wake County reported 63 Covid 19 cases. We looked past that number as we didn’t want to face the idea that we could be moving backwards. As August came to an end, Wake County reported exactly 1001 documented Covid cases. Green Level alone was responsible for 5 of those cases.
Though this data and information is not a secret, students are completely unaware and blind sighted as to what’s happening in their own school. We are only notified of a case if the person was within close contact of us. There are also limitations that guard the security even more. While it is important to maintain a person’s privacy, it is also our right as peers or even students to know when someone has Covid. I worry that we may have rushed back to reality. Every day a student or multiple students are absent from my classes. I worry that I may be next. As much as I want school to stay somewhat normal, I do not feel safe.
This virus is very much real and we need to protect each other in every way we can. Personally, I wish that WCPSS would have required all students to have the vaccine in order to come back to school. As of August 19, 2021 according to the CDC, the FDA has granted full approval for the Pfizer vaccine. To earn approval, the vaccine required many tests such as; performance in specific subpopulations, protection against spread and symptoms, and prevention of serious outcomes or hospitalization. Those evaluations were set in place to help understand if the vaccines were performing as expected outside the more controlled setting of a clinical trial.
The vaccine has shown great and improving results that can help us stop the spread of Covid throughout Wake County. I am aware that it is a choice and my peers should be given the opportunity to make that choice. However, if you have not got the vaccine, I question you, why?
Responses usually sound like something like this: “I am not sure of the long term effects… fertility, etc” “I don’t trust it.” It seems many have earned their MDs since the beginning of the pandemic and no longer trust the science.
A poll done by NPR reveals that, “only 52% of Americans have a great deal of trust in CDC. Other health agencies were even lower, only 37% of Americans said they had a lot of trust in the National Institutes of Health or the Food and Drug Administration.” It is also shown that, “The political divide that has been a hallmark of the coronavirus pandemic was evident in the results of this poll — 27% of Republicans greatly trust CDC, compared to 76% of Democrats.”
When addressing long term effects it is difficult to promise or persuade someone who is hesitant. As of right now, we are unsure of the long term effects of this vaccine. But, an article from UAB News lists many reasons as to why the vaccine is safe and highly effective as well as encouraged. A quote that stood out to me was, “90 percent decrease in risk of infections, and 94 percent effectiveness against hospitalization for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines is fantastic.”
The list will keep going and we will keep moving backwards if we don’t acknowledge what is happening. Clusters will grow and classes will shrink. If you or someone you know is not vaccinated, encourage them. Just like anything in medicine, there is a risk. But trust your scientists, nurses, doctors and all of your peers asking you to protect yourself and us.