Coronavirus School Closures Conserve Public Health


Coral Gables Senior High

On Mar. 13, Carvalho made the decision to shut down all public schools in Miami Dade for an indefinite amount of time due to the widespread fears of the Coronavirus.

Anthony Russo, Staff Writer

In late 2019, a new strand of the Coronavirus, which started spreading in Wuhan, China, took the world by storm and quickly spread across the world. Although the virus does not seem to cause permanent damage to the majority of the population, it is extremely contagious and the fear of spreading it is causing schools, businesses and events to be shutdown.

Here in Miami Dade-County, there are currently six people with COVID-19 and that was enough for Superintendent Carvalho to announce on Mar. 13 that he was going to be shutting down all public schools in Miami Dade-County for the time being. This was obviously not an easy decision to make because of all the people it would effect, but it was also a necessary one. Shutting down public schools for time being will slow down the spread of the virus and fewer people will come in contact with it.

Although the Coronavirus is not entirely new, this particular strand is, and what makes it so unique is that is holds the ability to be inside of a host and not show any symptoms for up to 14 days. All it takes is one student to carry it without knowing, and they can easily spread it to multiple other students without any knowledge of it. If the schools were not closed, the rate that people would be getting infected would skyrocket. This method of shutting down schools and events is a way to “flatten the curve” of the spread of the Coronavirus, so that less people are affected and the American healthcare system can accommodate for those with the illness.

“I do not mind the fact that school is going virtual, even though the virus does not really affect young people like us. It is the risk of spreading it to others who it will affect that is scary. That is why I am okay with school shutting down for a couple of weeks” sophomore Alejandro Delgado said.

Despite the fact that COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) does not seem harmful to younger people, the risk here is that when students bring the virus home, they may in fact spread the virus to their parents, grandparents or other relatives. This can be very dangerous to them since the virus appears to be targeting the elderly more than the younger generations. Limiting  the spread of COVID-19 is crucial to try and lower the number of cases not just in Miami Dade-County, but across the world, and shutting down public schools was a great, proactive step.

One main concern by opponents of school closures is that these students will not receive an education. However, the school closures do not mean that school will be canceled altogether, as Dade-County has already implemented online learning strategies for the students to continue their learning at home, with conference calls and assignment platforms such as Google Classroom. Prior to the closure of schools, students were also able to receive cellular devices with Wi-Fi or school-mandated tablets to complete their online work. Along with that, Miami-Dade County is also providing students and families with grab-and-go meals, as many families rely on free or reduced lunch to feed their children. Both breakfast and lunch are available for pickup between the times of 9:00 a.m and 12:00. p.m.

“I never really thought that the Coronavirus would bring us to this point. I understand the reasoning behind school closing but, I am just more in awe at the fact that something that started across the world is affecting us this much in Miami,” sophomore Catalina Lynn said.

This new virus definitely caught the majority of officials and people off guard, but it is important to keep in mind that the number one priority right now is general public health. The decision to close down schools in Miami-Dade County was definitely a hard one to make, but the right one in the end since this action will slow down the spread of the virus, hence keeping others from contracting it. This is evidently a hard time for many families across the nation, but as long as everyone stays calm and continues to take the precautions set forth by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this will all be over before we know it.

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