Practice social responsibility by taking care of yourself

Staff Editorial: The opinion of the El Vaquero staff members


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Recently, biotechnology company Moderna announced their creation of a 94.5% effective COVID-19 vaccine. From a study of 30,000 patients, only five patients developed COVID-19 after receiving Moderna’s vaccine, the mRNA-1273. 

Despite Moderna’s announcement, and the efforts of other companies like Pfizer and BioNTech, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to claim the lives of approximately 2,000 Americans a day and has infected over 68,000 Orange County residents, pushing the county back into the purple tier. Furthermore, health officials are uncertain when an approved vaccine will be available for mass distribution. The virus remains extremely deadly, and especially during a time when cases are on a rise, it is important to continue upholding the IHS value of social responsibility by following social distancing guidelines and staying home when feeling unwell.

Continuing to follow social distancing regulations set by officials is essential. According to a study published by Health Affairs, areas in the United States that currently do not adhere to any social distancing policies face 35 times more cases of coronavirus, while areas mandating social distancing have infection rates nearly 9% lower. It is scientifically proven social distancing greatly reduces the number of COVID-19 infections, while not following guidelines increases the risk of infection drastically. In order to ensure personal safety, as well the safety of those around us, we must continue to social distance, despite the inconvenience it may cause. 

During this time, it is especially vital for students to stay home when feeling unwell. According to a press statement released by Douglas County health officials, a student who went to school feeling slightly unwell caused a COVID-19 outbreak, infecting 100+ students and staff, and forcing hundreds of others into quarantine. At IHS, students often prioritize their education and going to school slightly unwell is common. Regardless, though you may display only minor COVID-19 symptoms, to prevent situations like the one in the Douglas County School District from occurring, and to protect public health, staying home when feeling unwell is necessary.  

Some may argue we should not live in continual fear of COVID-19. High school is one of the most pivotal times in a teenager’s life and there are memories to be made, experiences to be had, and friends to see. However, during a time where there are approximately 1,000 Orange County residents being infected with the virus daily and growing hospitalization rates, students must make choices with the welfare of others in mind. 

To protect ourselves and others, remember to maintain a 6-feet distance at all times and stay home when coughing, sneezing, or displaying any other COVID-19 symptoms. Our actions and decisions impact the lives of others; we must demonstrate Vaquero values inside and outside the classroom.