A Global Pandemic and its Growing Effect on Ottawa County
Eight months ago, the COVID-19 pandemic seemed so far away--a virus with high infection rates in Asia and Europe. Over the months, however, the pandemic has infiltrated Ottawa County, and the sharp spike in local cases can be credited in part to the public school system. When the Spring Lake Public School system first reopened their doors, students came and saw how different the buildings were with installations meant to prevent the spread of the deadly virus. A hybrid schedule allowed students to social distance, and warm weather let students eat or walk outside the building. However, the onset of winter weather, combined with the community growing tired of regulation, have contributed to a spike in Ottawa County infections and the quarantining of many Spring Lake High School students.
When a student tests positive, peers in their near vicinity during class, are quarantined and monitored closely for symptoms. While many people may view this procedure as unnecessary or unfair to students who simply had the bad luck to sit next to an infected student, such regulations are crucial to stop the spread in the schools.
A valiant attempt to protect the students has been made by a number of staff. English teacher, Mrs. Strobel, has been a strict enforcer of social distancing regulations since the very beginning. Yet, as cases rise within the county, she believes that the school is doing their best. Mrs. Strobel says, “It’s a social contract for myself and my students --it’s not about politics or morality” and “I admire that kids are facing this.” By a social contract, she is referencing the precautions and quarantining that the community has undergone in order to protect themselves and others.
A pandemic is a time for people to come together, support one another, and protect each other’s health by abiding with public health regulations. Acts of selfless heroism and kindness spread light through a time of darkness. People with these attributes reside within Ottawa County and are dedicated to protecting the safety of others. The time of a pandemic is not endless. When it ends, people will emerge stronger and more empathetic than before. Strict public health guidelines are not permanent--they too will come to an end, as all things do. If Spring Lake remains vigilant against the threat of COVID-19, the community will stop the spread and save numerous lives in the process.