Editorial: Closure disappointing, but important to keep community safe

With new cancellations and closings happening every minute, it’s hard not to have coronavirus on our minds.

We here at the Charger believe that, although inconvenient and disorienting, closing down the school and activities is smart and probably necessary.

First, you have to look at the number of students and faculty that have travelled outside of Kansas over spring break. Some have likely been exposed to COVID-19 and it’s smart to provide time to practice social distancing and assure that they do not have the virus.

Anyone who has visited anywhere out of the country, as well as certain hot zones such as California, and even airports are likely to have been exposed to COVID-19.

It’s worth considering, would you rather lose school time just in case, or go to school and risk spreading this sickness to those who otherwise would not have been exposed?

When we think about how this virus affects people, it’s important to look at the bigger picture. There are many people in the community who are elderly or have weakened immune systems, so decreasing the chances that it reaches them will be better for our community in the long run.

All this being said, we understand how hard this is for our students and community.

The KSHSAA has suspended and canceled many events recently, including but not limited to the State basketball tournament, all Regional Solo and Small Group Festivals and practices for this week.

They have not yet made a decision regarding the spring sports seasons at this time, but amidst the cancellation or collegiate and professional seasons, we’re struggling to stay optimistic.

Area colleges are making the move to completely online classes, and some have even canceled all spring sports and activities due to the CDC’s warning against gatherings of 50 or more people. K-State is officially shutting down dormitories and has canceled graduation.

WHS and Mission Valley decided to shut down for the next two weeks as recommended by the health department, with classes scheduled to resume March 30. Prom has also been postponed as well as all events scheduled to take place during the next two weeks.

With all of the cancellations and postponements, our thoughts go out to all of the high school seniors who are facing the fact that they may not get to experience some of their high school lasts due to COVID-19.

The biggest thing we can do now though is make sure we are taking the proper precautions in order to prevent this virus from spreading. Proper precautions do not include buying 50 rolls of toilet paper and an entire box of canned food items and wearing those surgical masks everywhere. That is a bit extreme for what we are looking at. What we should be doing now is practicing social distancing, making sure to wash our hands well, avoiding touching our face and just staying calm.

We know that these are stressful times and that we don’t know much about COVID-19, but you have to have faith that the medical world will find answers to questions and that they know what they’re talking about. Panicking and bulk buying food and other household items will do nothing to stop you from getting this virus. Chances are you’ve already been exposed to it, unless you’ve been living alone and haven’t left your house in months.

The world has gone through tough times like this before, and we are still here. Just wash your hands.

The editorial is the opinion of the Charger staff.  Send letters to the editor to whscharger@gmail.com.

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