Constantly changing rules, cancelled sporting events, virtual social gatherings, and working from home are just some of the things that everyone has been experiencing since the start of the pandemic in March. COVID-19 has cancelled sports, closed gyms, shut down businesses, and infected millions, yet we still have to attend work and school when there are safer alternatives to these. Are the rules enough?

Coming back to school at Riverside Secondary caused a lot of anxiety and stress for students and teachers because there were lots of unknowns. When asked how they felt about returning to school in the midst of the pandemic, Mateo Brazinha said, “It was a risky decision by the school district to send us back to school.” I think this outlook is shared by a lot of students. Brazinha also said that returning to school is “risky because of the rising cases” which had reached over 900 a day, but he feels “safe to a certain extent because of the restrictions we have.” However, when comparing our schools to others seen in the news and even others in our school district, Riverside has done a remarkable job of containing and stopping the spread of the virus in our school community.

As the number of infections continues to go up in BC, there have been a lot of mixed messages, which add confusion and frustration to a difficult time. Recently public health orders included restrictions to having family over for Christmas; however, some find this a bit confusing as people can go to a restaurant and eat at a table near to strangers. Another confusing rule is that masks are mandatory in all indoor public areas but not in elementary schools or classes within cohorts. Also, people in BC are asked not to travel, especially to the Island, but BC Ferries recently added more sailing.

When the pandemic first started in March, the numbers were relatively low. COVID-19 numbers have majorly increased in BC since March when the pandemic started. Currently, BC has a total of about 44,000 cases. Compared to the total amount of cases we had at the end of March, which was around 1000 cases, it appears that we haven’t done a very good job of containing the virus.

It is understandable that there is a lot of new information as more is learned about the virus and new studies are done, but there has to be more consistency with the rules so people are 100% clear when asked to cooperate to keep everyone safe. Hopefully, we can all stay strong as we near the end of this pandemic!

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