How Much is ‘Too Many’?


1? 10? 100? 1,000?


How many of Ridge’s students, and how much of the staff need to be exposed to COVID-19 before we decide to send our returning Ridge students back to the online learning format? 


The number of  COVID-19 cases in Arizona are recorded to be at around 216,000 with upwards of 5,560 related deaths; our school opened up for seniors to return on the 24th of September and as per the general state of affairs a lot of the student body (including both Ridge’s seniors as well as the juniors, and underclassmen) as well as the student’s family members and Ridge staff have been concerned about the return to in-school learning. 


Many students are remaining online, including some of our Ridge Review writers, with some Ridge teachers such as Mr. Tutt and Mrs. Kaye being unable to return to class for at least the semester due to personal and familial health concerns. Mrs. Kaye will retire at the end of the semester.


Other schools across the country as well as in Arizona have suffered deaths and the general spread of the COVID-19 virus amongst students and faculty immediately upon the re-opening of campus. The go-to course of action for these schools has been to go back into a ‘hibernation’ of sorts in order to prevent more casualties. 


So then, for Ridge in particular, the question popping up is simply: “What number do we have to reach? How many students need to die before we send them back?”. 


That brings up a lot of other questions, ‘Why aren’t we more concerned about student lives in the first place?’ and ‘Why should students be recognized as merely a number, shouldn’t we just go back when anyone dies?” Though, this only brings up a myriad of complications, so it’s truthfully best that we remain realistic. 


I personally can’t make any projections regarding the number of students and staff across the nation, nor Arizona in particular that will contract the COVID-19 virus; I think the best option is to close down school again after one single COVID-19 related death or, possibly, contraction of the virus. 


My reasoning is based on the thought that, if one person involved in the school has succumbed to the virus, in one way or another, it’s likely that COVID-19 would have already been transmitted to other students and staff members. This would in turn cause, as has been seen by the growth in the number of infected globally, an exponential increase in the number of students and staff that may fall victim to the virus at Ridge as long as we keep the school in operation. 


Of course the best option for fighting off against any disease or virus is simply to prevent all contact between each other, just as we’ve been hypothetically doing for the past half a year or so.


There’s always a lot of variables, but for as much as we’d all like to get back to our once-daily-routines, we need to make it clear to ourselves that to halt everything for as long as it takes in order to fend off the virus until it’s manageable will work better in the long run than poking the bear over and over again to see how long we can go before it bites us in the rump. 


Perhaps we’ll just have to keep testing things out in this transitory phase; again, even with the difficulties we face we’ll still push on as always.