A stranger walking through Woodstock School recently would probably think that there was an unsafe nuclear power plant nearby, with all the face masks being worn. The truth is far less dangerous, though no less pervasive a problem.
In the past two weeks, the Woodstock community has been struck down by the common flu that has no mercy. Employees, teachers, and students have all been affected, with around “70% of the entire Woodstock community becoming sick,” as said by Ms. Alice, a nurse in the health center.
The health clinic in dorms has been overrun by students, forcing them to take over the Ridgewood basement to use as an infirmary. Even this hasn’t been enough. For the past two weeks, around fifteen of the beds have been occupied with sick students every day, and the influx has forced the staff to send kids back to the dorm after medication due to lack of space.
The source of this flu is not known for certain, however, the cold weather recently is a likely cause. With the Woodstock Community not ready for the sudden shift in temperature, this viral infection has swept in and taken many victims, Ms. Alice said.
Armaan Batra, Class of 2020, says that he got sick and had to wait in the health center for a long time because the doctor took “hours” to come. He also said that there weren’t enough nurses on duty for all the students. While he was waiting for the doctor to come he watched a student with an injured leg come and the nurse told him to “take a mask, go sit” due to the risk of getting the contagious flu in the clinic.
The flu has had a huge impact on the students, even affecting some who were playing in Win Mumby, but the little kids on campus may have paid the biggest price. Since the kids are so small, the flu has had a huge effect on them. Ms. Andeep Kaur, an upper years chemistry teacher, said that her son had been sick all weekend and “he couldn’t sleep the whole night”. She also said her son had also been vomiting and had to be left at home alone because she had to come to school.
This flu has also meant that staff and students have had to do a lot of extra work to keep up in academics. Ms. Kaur said that for the past two weeks there are “always two to three students missing each day.” This has caused her a lot of extra work, she said, as she had to spend extra hours to teach the missing students the content they missed. One of her students in Grade nine was away for the whole two weeks meaning that she had to both teach him the content and create a whole new test to give him on the subject.
With the annual temperature descent towards freezing having barely begun, and five weeks left in the school term, one can only hope this flu’s spread won’t intensify, and that our community will be able to endure this period of hardship without the illness affecting our daily lives too badly.
Edited by Rohan Menezes