Biden says pandemic is over, but is he right?

Clyde Butler, Staff Writer

During the 2021-2022 school year, one glance around a Spring-Ford classroom would display a room full of masked faces. Today, the level of concern is nowhere near what it used to be.

“The pandemic is over,” President Joe Biden said in an interview with “60 Minutes” recently. “We still have a problem with COVID. We’re still doing a lot of work on it. But the pandemic is over. If you notice, no one’s wearing masks.

Everybody seems to be in pretty good shape, and so I think it’s changing, and I think (the Detroit auto show resuming after three years) is a perfect example of it.”

Despite this, 400 people die from COVID daily and the virus remains in circulation. Students continue to miss class time – nearly a week an occurrence – due to the virus. To reference the question stated earlier, do people actually think this pandemic is over, and how would the people in our district think?

“Honestly, I feel like the pandemic is not over yet,” Spring-Ford student Timmy Brisson said. “Kids in some of my classes are still out because of COVID, and I got it earlier this year.”

A means of controlling the virus can be seen in the prevalence of available vaccines. Brisson stated that he received a vaccination, similar to classmate Vincent Magazzolo.

“I think that the worst of it is over,” Magazzolo commented, “but obviously not the entire thing.”

Both Brisson and Magazzolo were surprised to learn when interviewed in September that the national death toll from the virus still stood at over 400 per day. During the height of the pandemic, however, the rolling average of deaths nationally was over 3,000 individuals.

In addition to students, teachers are also navigating a society eager to end the pandemic but remain unsure if it really is over.

“Students in my classes stopped wearing masks altogether,” technology teacher Jamie Scheck said. “I think that most think it’s over.”

The CDC still tracks COVID numbers and is now tackling flu season on top of it.

“COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in the United States have been decreasing for the past few months, but that decline has slowed in recent weeks,” the CDC website states. “Meanwhile, cold and flu season is off to an earlier start than usual, with respiratory viruses like flu and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) on the rise, especially among children. The combination of COVID-19, flu, and RSV could continue to stress the healthcare system this fall and winter.”