The Flu: A School-wide Plague

It starts with that achy feeling when you wake up. You decide to drag yourself to school anyways—there’s a test you can’t miss. By third block, everything you touch feels like ice, and your mind is foggy. It’s fourth block, and it’s all you can do to stay awake. The second you get home, it’s PJ’s and bed-if you can fall asleep. You sleep the next day away, your head throbbing, simultaneously freezing and burning, wishing you had just gotten the vaccination a month earlier.

A few days later, the person who sat next to you during the test will be making the exact same wish.

Flu season isn’t just tough on one person- it’s tough on the whole school. There are always the students who can’t possibly miss three days, and who come to school in a comatose throughout their illnesses. These kids usually have harder classes, and don’t want to get behind. Maybe it’ll help their own grades to stick it out and come to school, but they spread their disease to the people around them. The kids who get it next might be even more sick and unable to attend school- even with hard classes. This causes them to fall behind in classes, struggling to make up all the work within the first couple days back to school. Teachers have to try to save missed work for students, keep the whole class caught up, and stay on schedule- all while avoiding catching the illness themselves.

The flu isn’t hard to catch, especially in a crowded building filled with rushed teenagers. Tissues and hand sanitizer don’t always keep the sickness from spreading. By those who never catch it, the flu is seen as a simple annoyance that is easy to deal with and is gone within a week, but it can be much more than that. It compromises the school year for students, as well as for teachers, and poses a more serious threat to education and health than many would think.

So, if you wake up with that all too familiar achy feeling, take your temperature, talk to your parents, try to take the day off. It will save everyone a lot of time and tissues.