As soon as a class at SLA is over, the two major stairwells at SLA are flooded with students rushing to various floors and classrooms. This is normal for high schools however not for many high schools post COVID 19 lockdown.
After the major COVID 19 lockdown, an eventual return to school was inevitable however it had to be considered how it could be made safe for everyone. That is when the SLA administration rolled out the idea of having stairwells for two designated directions. The up stairwell was for students moving up floors, down for those moving down floors. This felt like the perfect plan to limit mobs and crowds and practicing safe social distancing. Until, students began not following protocol and using the wrong stairwells. As one can imagine, this created 5 minutes of absolute chaos at SLA everyday. There would be 30+ students at a time in the stairwell commuting in opposite directions which slowed down the commute for many and frustrated students moving through the right stairwells. Not to mention, this was not even about a smoother transition in between bands but more importantly about practicing social distancing appropriately in school. Not abiding by the SLA administration’s stairwell plan only created a COVID superspreader event in the stairwells everyday.
Clearly, the administration’s plan to practice social distancing and ensure a smoother commute went south really quickly because of student’s irresponsibility.
Personally, the most frustrating aspect of commuting to different floors for me is seeing students trying to squeeze down the up- stairwell or up the down- stairwell. All it does is create chaos and rush when travelling through SLA.
This issue raises the question of why students are not abiding by stairwell protocol. This question is one on everyone’s mind that experiences this event at SLA almost everyday. If anything it is in students best interest to follow protocol as it is saving the school from another looming transition to Zoom school.
Social distancing is a mechanism designed to keep individuals a specific measurement of space away from each other to slow the spread of infectious disease. Diseases like COVID 19 spread through airborne particles so it is easy for these particles to spread at a rapid rate when people are clumped together or gather in large groups. However, when individuals are a safe distance away from one another it creates less room for these particles to spread through the air.
Well… we talked about the stairwell, what’s next? It is important for all students to pull their weight when practicing the protocol for social distancing. Even more so , if a good percentage of students practice using the right stairwell, maybe there will be a visible change in stairwell traffic and even COVID cases.
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