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The student news site of Brimmer and May School | Chestnut Hill, MA

The Gator

The student news site of Brimmer and May School | Chestnut Hill, MA

The Gator

The student news site of Brimmer and May School | Chestnut Hill, MA

The Gator

COVID-19 Surge Impacts Start of School, Teacher Absenses

The virus is hitting adults here particularly hard.
The School reports an uptick in COVID-19 cases this week.

A spike in COVID-19 continues to hit teachers particularly hard, impacting instruction during the first month of School.

“It was a real interruption for all of my work,” English teacher Donald Reese said, who recently recovered from his infection. “There were a couple of days when I couldn’t do any work at all, and even after coming back, I tired easily for a few days.”

Head of School Judith Guild, who also contracted the virus feels similarly.

“I did find myself pretty tired that week,” Guild said. “I hope others are able to recover quickly. It isn’t much fun to miss work!”

However, absent teachers does not mean that students can take their studies lightly, according to Upper School Head Joshua Neudel.

“When teachers are absent, they do their best to come up with activities and notes to help students learn the material, though not at the same level as normal,” Neudel said.“I would encourage students to use the class time teachers have set aside to do their work and to email their teachers with questions.”

The federal COVID-19 emergency ended on May 11, and the School is not resuming additional safety measures like social distancing and mask mandates.

“We have moved out of the public health crisis,” Neudel said, also noting the introduction of effective vaccines and treatments. “I think we have moved into a phase where people are responsible for taking care of their own health.”

School Nurse Beth Escobar agrees.

“Brimmer is no longer testing or tracing for COVID at school this year,” said Escobar.“But the White House has extended their offer of four free COVID-19 test kits that can be mailed to your home.”

Still, Neudel and Escobar emphasized the importance of staying protected.

“Get vaccinated,” said Neudel. “The new COVID and flu vaccines were released, and you can always wear a mask.”

Assistant Head for Academic Affairs Joe luiano was out the first week of classes.

“It was horrible timing,” Iuliano said. “It made it hard to get forward momentum in the course, both for me teaching and for the students learning. I feel that I am back on track, but I would like to have those two weeks back.”

If someone in a household tests positive, Escobar suggests wearing a mask indoors for five days.

“Frequent hand-washing is still a cool thing to do, so please do it,” Escobar said.

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About the Contributors
James Yu
James Yu, Senior Journalist
James came to Brimmer in 2022 and joined The Gator in 2023. He has a great interest in current international affairs, politics, and economics. In his free time, he is passionate about translation, debate, video game theory, and role-playing.

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  • Jack MalloyOct 17, 2023 at 11:01 am

    This is a really good article, James!