The Way to Return to a Normal School Year at FHN is to be Vaccinated [Editorial]


Credit to Shutterstock

659 days. Dec. 31, 2019. The date that China announced the first known case of what would come to be called COVID-19. The news spread fast throughout the school, students clamoring to joke about getting COVID every time they coughed, and thought nothing of the pandemic that was to sweep across the nation. However, even from the beginning there was always a push for a vaccine, a fix that would stop the quarantines and lockdowns. Francis Howell North students can lead that effort by receiving the vaccine.

313 Days. Dec. 11, 2020. The date that the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) allowed emergency use of the Pfizer vaccine for those aged 16 or older. This decision was met with skepticism and protests even as the science was consistently shown to be safe. This minimum age allowed juniors and seniors to receive the vaccine as early as December of last year. Yet due to concerns, many Missouri residents resisted the idea, leading to less than ideal vaccination rates even today at only 48.3%, below the national average of 55.6%. 

194 Days. Apr. 9, 2021. The date that Missouri allowed every adult and minors aged 16 years or older to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. This means that for at least 167 days the upperclassmen have had access to the vaccine. Had they received it, they would have been fully vaccinated before last year was even over, protecting them and their loved ones from COVID-19. However, as you walk around the schools today you still hear those same murmurs of skepticism about the speed at which the vaccine was produced and the safety even after proven safe. 

39 Days. Aug. 23, 2021. The date that the Pfizer vaccine was authorized by the FDA. This was not emergency use authorization, this was full authorization. This means that the FDA reviewed this vaccine the same as they would any other mainstream vaccine such as meningitis or HPV. Yet, you don’t hear people concerned about getting those vaccines like you do the COVID-19 vaccine. Dangerous side effects are a common myth that have no backing in the data that the FDA or Congress has shown. This is precisely why it makes sense to get the vaccine. 

38 Days. Aug. 24, 2021. The date of our second day of school. Students were nervous about  quarantines and sent home for two weeks. But there was a catch this year, the district allowed students who were vaccinated to not be quarantined. The way to return to normal, to have full classrooms again, to prevent our friends from being pulled out of class, was to vaccinate ourselves. 

25 Days. Sept. 6. 2021. The date of two weeks after our first day of school. At this point everyone could have been vaccinated and would not have to worry about being quarantined. Now, there are valid concerns, such as religious liberties and parents not allowing their children to get it that can prevent students from receiving the vaccine. However, if someone did not fall under either of those concerns the way to return to a sense of normalcy in our building and to protect yourself and those around you is to get vaccinated. This virus will not die if we continue to let it run wild and the vaccine helps tamp it down.

14 Days from today. Nov. 3, 2021. The date that every single student reading this could be vaccinated by. Masks are tedious, the restrictions on being in school are challenging to follow and who we can be around is restrictive. If the majority of the school was vaccinated, then the return to normal and of a school in which we can all see each other’s faces could finally begin. A normal where we can see each other’s faces and not have to worry about missing our friends or family.