Chamblee COVID Chaos: Student Experiences

Allison Lvovich, Staff Writer

Despite most public schools’ safety protocols, there is still a multitude of COVID cases, which has resulted in both differing and potentially malleable opinions.  Specifically, there are split opinions between students regarding their vaccination status and their personal experiences with the virus.

On one hand, many students took the liberty of getting vaccinated from COVID when the opportunity arose.

“I got vaccinated back in April of 2021 because I believe in vaccines and the help and safety they can provide,” said senior Francesca Mariano (‘22). 

Vaccinated students also reported having less severe and less prolonging symptoms. 

“Due to the vaccine, my case wasn’t very awful,” said Mariano. “It felt like I had a bad sinus infection where I couldn’t taste.”

However, having lesser symptoms doesn’t always mean that students with breakthrough (vaccinated) cases are completely out of the woods.

“It wasn’t terrible, I had a sore throat and fatigue, but the main thing that was funky was that I got pink eye,” said junior Caryline Porter (‘23), who was vaccinated. “Unfortunately, it’s been a month and I still cough often, and I can just tell my breathing is not the same.”

Even when students feel that they did everything correctly, accidents still occur, and most of the time it is simply out of their hands.

“There’s nothing I could’ve done differently,” said Porter. “I always wear my mask, I’m vaccinated, and I don’t know anyone that had COVID when I got it and I didn’t give it to anyone, to my knowledge.”

On the other side of the spectrum, there are students who contracted COVID and were not vaccinated. 

“I am not vaccinated, I don’t feel there’s enough research on it for me to be comfortable getting vaccinated,” said senior Yasmine Mumick (‘22). “It wasn’t that severe for me. I was just congested and felt a little sick. It just felt like having the flu, except I lost my taste and smell for a day, but that was about it.”

Other students had the intention of getting vaccinated but were not able to due to lack of parental consent.

“I didn’t get vaccinated because my parents were extremely skeptical about the vaccine, but I was planning on getting vaccinated when I turned 18,” said senior Dionne Win (‘22). 

Win, who had a tougher time with the virus, explained how her family had a change of heart after their intense experiences.

“My symptoms weren’t awful in the beginning, but as it progressed, I couldn’t breathe well. I went to the ER and they found my COVID turned into pneumonia,” said Win. “Maybe it didn’t teach me anything new, but my family was previously against the vaccine, and after everything hit us so hard, and I had to go to the hospital, they’re willing to get the vaccine now.”

Vaccinated or not, quarantining from school takes a toll on students.

“Since I had so much to catch up on, I wasn’t really sleeping,” said Porter. “I was also still physically drained from being sick for so long.”

Despite the stress, students are thankful to be alive after facing the virus that has taken over 4.5 million lives between 2019 and today. 

“I’m very thankful to be healthy and back,” said Mariano. “For the most part, my teachers were very kind about the whole thing, but I do wish there were more school policies supporting students when [they are] home quarantining.”