How successful has Parkdale been at keeping students “social distanced”?

With the recent reopening of Parkdale High School, the school’s main focus is to keep its students safe from contracting COVID-19. In order to keep students safe, putting on a mask has become mandatory while inside the building. . Another key part in ensuring student safety is by making sure students are “social distancing.” The CDC recommends that “with universal masking, students should maintain a distance of at least three feet in a classroom setting.” With this in mind, it is important to ask, “how successful has Parkdale been in keeping their students ‘socially distant ?”

Taking a look at the cafeteria, it is packed with students from left to right with their masks down, eating and talking with their peers right next to and in front of them. Circumstances like these put students at a very high risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19. The CDC recommends “Middle school students and high school students should be at least six feet apart in communities where transmission is high, if cohorting is not possible.” Keep in mind, in order to take part in social distancing, the minimum distance between all people should be at the very least three feet. It is very important to social distance, especially when considering that Prince George’s County has the highest number of cases in Maryland as of September 27, with 96,183 cases, and the number only seems to keep rising. 

The hallways also deal with overcrowding issues. “The hallways are constantly packed as people try to get to class as quickly as they can,” says junior Yoseli Carbajal. This should be alarming, especially when taking into consideration that the CDC and John Hopskins medicine advises that people should Maintain at least six feet of distance between yourself and others. Avoid crowded places, particularly indoors, and events that are likely to draw crowds.” Hallways being constantly crowded by students only inches apart from each other does not promote social distancing.  In fact, the overcrowding issue in the hallways seems like the exact opposite of “social distancing.” 

With the new school year, Parkdale has drawn in many new students from many different schools. This has led to classrooms becoming overcrowded. Sitting in a classroom with possibly 25 students or more, with only a few feet of distance between each other, does not promote social distancing and its importance for the well being of all students. The CDC gives a friendly reminder that some people without symptoms may be able to spread the virus.” It cannot be stressed enough that social distancing, with the addition of mandatory masking, protects people from contracting the virus and possibly spreading it. Parkdale has not been properly enforcing social distancing onto its students and staff.