I’m not a senior citizen, don’t lock me up

I want to protect everyone as much as we can, but if we are losing our sanity, society after the lockdowns will never be the same.

Instead+of+locking+ourselves+inside%2C+us+teenagers+should+be+able+to+live+our+lives%2C+because+most+of+us+have+a+form+of+immunity+against+COVID-19.

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Instead of locking ourselves inside, us teenagers should be able to live our lives, because most of us have a form of immunity against COVID-19.

I’m a student, not a senior citizen in a nursing home. Stop treating me like one.

  The lockdowns in New Jersey have been tailored to work for everyone, but why are we as high school students being treated the same way as senior citizens? That seems ridiculous at first, but it’s true. According to data from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a majority of COVID-19 patients and deaths are citizens over the age of 65. 

  My solution is that senior citizens, who are the most susceptible and vulnerable to this horrible disease, should have a different set of rules than the younger, less susceptible age groups. This would allow society to reopen because the most vulnerable would be protected. Once again, students’ rights are being abridged by being commingled with the senior citizens, who have a different set of risk factors and requirements to deal with this virus.

  As stated earlier, COVID-19 predominantly affects senior citizens. An article from Bloomberg said that people age 65 and older account for 80% of the U.S. deaths from the coronavirus. We do not need these restrictions in our daily lives because high school students make up such a small percentage of the death rate.

  I understand that we can show no symptoms and transmit this disease to others, but it is less fatal to us because the “overall COVID-19 recovery rate is between 97% and 99.75%” according to WebMD. This means that the coronavirus is not as fatal in this population as it is portrayed to be. Older adults tend to have more medical issues, which make them more susceptible to COVID-19. 

  Most teenagers do not have as many of these issues, making us able to recover faster or not even get the disease at all. Social distancing in our generation is easily adapted to, which eliminates the need for lockdowns. Let us live our lives!

  There is no reason why we cannot return to school, which would signify a return to the old normal. One way that we could do this is to put limits on the number of students in the hallway, which is a method currently being used for the reopening of child care. If we made it to a point where different grade levels were allowed to be in the hallways at different times, this would allow us to practice social distancing.

  Administrators could also make it mandatory for students and faculty to wear masks. Some students might fear coming in contact with teachers, or the other way around, but there could be a solution to that.

  Teachers could stand behind a plexiglass wall while teaching and students could have plexiglass barriers on top of the desks. If businesses are already opened with limits put in place, then schools should be open. Remote learning, in my opinion, has been ineffective, which shows the need for traditional schooling. A 2017 study from Harvard and Stanford University suggests that, “student achievement outcomes are more variable in online classes, driven in part by a greater negative effect of online course-taking on students.”

  Due to the lockdowns, about half the U.S population, including myself, has seen an increase in mental illness as we live our lives under scrutiny due to the change in routine and lifestyle. I want to protect everyone as much as we can, but if we are losing our sanity, society after the lockdowns will never be the same.

  An example of this is the George Floyd protests where nearly all of the “protesters” were young people. This is because they are tired of these lockdowns and do not fear the virus. Being isolated from society is a possible cause of the riots because a 2017 study by the University of North Carolina on violence caused by isolation showed that, “that different types of social isolation had varying effects on violent delinquency.” This helps show that there may not be the same traditional society from before the lockdowns if the lockdowns continue.

  These lockdowns are ineffective and should be over with immediately for high school students. Our age acts as a “get out of jail free card” that protects us from this virus. Although we have to be responsible to assure that we are safe and remain healthy, after weighing the risk factors, our risk of death from this virus remains lower than other generations because of our age. We are the future and the lockdown is unnecessary, which is why it should be ended immediately. 

  We are not senior citizens; we are high school students.