The Plague is Upon Us

The season has arrived for student sickness


photo by Natalie Mudd

With the uptick in student illnesses, the Nurse's Office is eager to spread advice on remaining healthy.

Natalie Mudd, Staff Writer

Every year, as the student masses proceed through the first nine weeks, a surge of sickness accompanies them. The school becomes a melting pot of germs with every student bringing in their own special brand of illness to share with their classmates. It seems to come in waves with the first students going home early after a mere two days in school. For others, the sickness has just hit and the nurse increasingly sees greater numbers of those affected. 

“It’s bad,” said Scout Miller, a senior, “I don’t feel like doing anything, and I’m always tired.”

One merely has to walk through the halls and a symphony of coughing and sneezing can be heard. In every class, there’s that small group of students who periodically make stuffy trips to the tissue box at the front of the room. Cough drops become coveted, traded at every opportunity like some sort of black market product. 

“I had a fever the whole weekend, and I’ve already missed a day of school,” said irritated senior Grace Welsh. With work to make up and tests to worry about, no one wants to spend a day at home, stuffy and tired, especially as early as the fourth week of school. 

Honestly, if you are sick, if you have a fever, stay home”

— Nurse Scrabis

Not even the teachers are safe from the spread of germs.

I always felt that I had built up a good immunity to illness as a teacher in this building, but I think there are years when it is weaker than others,”  said English teacher Mrs. Walters. “We always want to have a positive attitude and be here for our students, but sometimes we have to stay home, which is ultimately more work (planning for a sub) than dragging ourselves here sick.”

Just like the students, the teachers are stuck in a building containing over 2,000 people and a mass of germs. To combat the chance of sickness, teachers have taken precautions.

“This year, I increased the hand sanitizer in my room, reorganized and prepared for a new beginning and on the first in-service, that familiar scratch still hit my throat,” Walters said.

No one seems to be safe from the illness, but Nurse Scrabis emphasizes that there are quick and easy ways to counter it.

“Honestly, the number one thing you can do is wash your hands,” Scrabis said, “and the old school ‘if you have to sneeze or cough, do so into your elbow.’” 

Luckily, for those who don’t have the patience to walk all the way to the bathroom to wash their hands frequently, there’s another solution.

“Hand sanitizer — I love it!” Scrabis said. “I always have some.” Not only does hand sanitizer protect students from nasty germs, but it also is easy to carry and comes in a variety of pleasant scents. Almost every teacher has some, and even a number of organized students come prepared. 

As for a quick recovery, Nurse Scrabis offers some additional advice.   “Honestly, if you are sick, if you have a fever, stay home,” she said. “And have some Vitamin C. like the orange juice. Make sure you’re doing things to help with your stress. Drink water and sleep.”