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The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

Sick students should stay home

As temperatures drop in Saratoga, episodes of illness rise. But however unpleasant students may feel, most believe the work required to catch up after an absence is infinitely worse. Many students inconsiderately choose to attend school despite illness, so classes and hallways continue to resound with sniffles and coughs.

According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Americans catch approximately 1 billion colds yearly. On average, adolescents will catch as many as seven colds each per year.

Unfortunately, the most germ-friendly place for illnesses are schools. A single sneeze can spread germs to students anywhere within 3 to 12 feet of the sneezer. Because of the close quarters, when one student comes to school sick, an entire school can be infected.

The problem doesn't end with spreading disease, though. When students come to school sick enough that they should not be anywhere but home, coughing and sneezing can seriously disrupt lessons. Teachers have trouble communicating to students, and students are distracted by the annoying noises.

A sick student should not have the right to sabotage his or her classmates’ education.

Sick students themselves cannot even gain much out of miserably forcing themselves through the school day. Learning is much more difficult, and suffering through symptoms of the flu all day cannot be enjoyable.

A typical bout of flu lasts approximately one week with proper care—particularly rest and fluids. Illnesses, however, can drag on for weeks if the human body is unable to properly heal. Going to school sick hinders an unwell student’s ability to recover, further prolonging the time the student is inconvenienced.

In the case of the common cold, only time and rest—specifically, at home, in bed—can eliminate the pathogen. No medication can do anything but repress the symptoms.

Even if it takes time to catch up with schoolwork afterwards, the issues that result, such as infecting friends, disturbing classes and delaying recovery, make going to school while sick not worth the trouble. Teachers and classmates will understand absences due to illness and are available for help.

The best way to determine if a cold really requires an absence is to consider whether it is serious enough to affect others, either by infecting students or interrupting lessons. A professional opinion from a doctor can also help determine the severity. But to attend school contagious and distracting to others is nothing short of selfish.

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