Students sick of sick students:

Sick student
Students who come to school sick risk spreading their germs and infecting others. Photo by Addison Metzger.

By Santos Romero:

Coughing, sniffling and sneezing can create quite the ruckus in a small college classroom, especially at this time of the year, when it seems as if everyone is sick.

According to the Texas Department of Safety and Health, the percentage of patient visits due to influenza-like illness and the percentage of specimens testing positive for influenza reported by public health and hospital laboratories has marginally increased. Many students have strong opinions on when it’s acceptable to come to class sick and when it’s time to stay home.

“If they feel contagious they should just stay home unless it’s a test or something important,” Charles Peavey, a criminal justice major, said.

Any college student knows missing just one day of class also means taking the risk of missing multiple assignments, making it hard to keep up with the work, but when does it become a problem to show up sick?

Peavey said he doesn’t get annoyed when other students come to class sick, he just worries for the health of himself and the other students in class. Surprisingly other students had a similar opinion about their peers coming to class sick.

“Everyone coughs here and there, it’s really not a big deal,” Aaron Hayden, a precision metal working major, said. To many students, missing class just isn’t an option when they are already busy with work and other things outside of class.

Hayden said he believes students going to class sick shows their dedication to their school work. On the contrary, there are students who believe their sick peers should stay home.

“I don’t think anyone should go to class when they are sick because it puts everyone around them at risk of getting sick as well,” Andy Shackelford, an education major, said.

Students do take a risk of going to class with sick peers since schools are an easy place for illnesses to spread.

“If you don’t feel good the professors will probably understand why you can’t come to class,” Mari Rubio, a nursing major, said.

Rubio also said it can get annoying to hear students constantly coughing and sneezing while she is trying to pay attention to the professor.

Rubio, along with many of the other students, have an overall negative attitude toward their peers coming to class sick due to the importance of attendance.

“I can’t afford to get sick and miss class because someone else in my class had something contagious and other students should see it that way before coming to class ill,” Kobe Morris, a biology major, said.

1 Comment

  1. I wear a face mask all cold and flu season anywhere I go in public due to chronic Lyme Disease and autoimmune illness weakening my immune system. It’s a lot like not having an immune system at all. Most people assume I am sick when I wear a mask. This article seems to also focus on the effects of the sick wearing masks. But I don’t go out if I’m sick, I wear the mask to try to avoid getting ill. I have almost been kicked out of a facility for wearing a mask because the assumption was that I had the flu. Elsewhere, I have been thanked for wearing the mask to keep from making others sick. My response is that I’m not sick, y’all are! I wish it were more common for the healthy to wear masks so that there would not be the assumption that only the sick wear them. In my rural mountain community, adults have not mastered the art of sneezing or coughing into one’s elbow, and seem to feel compelled to foodshop anytime they are sick, so the grocery store is the best place to pick up germs. I have found a mask is not enough in the grocery store, and for fear of getting the H2N3 flu strain that is so deadly this year I have had to resort to wearing disposable gloves as well. I always worry I will be kicked out of the store for looking like someone who is avoiding being recognized and doesn’t wish to leave fingerprints!

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