The Plague of Helena High

Maya Barany, writer

If I have to spend one more class period, one more moment in a silent class interrupted by the sounds of disease and bodily reactions spreading cold and flu, I will have to go home and shower with bleach. The cold season at this school is so gross, and students can be so so disgustingly inconsiderate. The sheer amount of bacteria permeating the air, coating the desks, computers, and food is all caused by our lovely fellow classmates and their lack of common decency. 

I got a cold from my first period math class, for the one reason being that the students here don’t seem to understand how contagions work. Helena High doesn’t know how to deal with the cold and flu season. The rates of transmission in this school seem to be as high as in preschools, where children 2-5 years old don’t know basic hygiene yet, like washing their hands and coughing into their elbows away from people. In daycare centers, there is a 2- to 3-fold increase in risk for respiratory infections, ear infections, and diarrheal disease. It seems from the behaviors in almost any class you walk into, we are not much better.

 A cold can ruin your week and a flu can take you out of school for up to two weeks. Inflicting this unnecessary pain and suffering on others is downright immoral. At this school, when a seasonal cold is going around, even walking into a classroom I expect to catch it. Some of the behaviors my class exhibits are as follows: sneezing and coughing into open air, snorting snot back into their throats instead of blowing their goddamn nose until it dribbles onto desks, chewing on pencils or their fingers, and proceeding to touch EVERYTHING, not washing their hands after going to the bathroom, and taking no sanitation measures after blowing their nose. 

This is repulsive. In other countries, such as Japan and densely populated European countries, it is culturally shameful to have such a lack of personal hygiene. People wear masks to avoid infecting others. Why should an american high school be any different? While a cold is not the plague, it is preventable and frankly repulsive to see and listen to. This has been a PSA. Wash your hands please.

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