To go virtual, or to not go virtual: that is the question

The Holly Spirit reached out to RV students in regards to the rising COVID cases and the school’s decision to remain the course in person

Senior, Lucas Miglin, wearing a mask in the library

Senior, Lucas Miglin, wearing a mask in the library

Isabella Cifaldi, Student Life Writer

As 2022 begins, students and staff have officially been accustomed to COVID-19 for nearly two years. The school has been both completely remote back in March 2020 and hybrid throughout the 2020-2021 school year. Now, as the second half of the school year has approached, COVID-19 may seem more daunting than it ever was. 

After the festivities of the holidays over our winter break, ranging from Christmas celebrations, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, New Year or even visiting and celebrating with friends and family, COVID-19 cases have risen dramatically and alarmingly throughout the country. Here at RV, classrooms look a little more empty and the implementation of temporary morning tutorial and lunch changes have been put in place in order to combat COVID-19 transmission rates and minimize contact tracing. 

With this new year and a new COVID-19 variant on the rise, Omicron, the Holly Spirit surveyed students throughout to better understand how the students reacted to rising COVID-19 cases.

Do you feel that RV should remain in person?

There is a significantly higher percentage of students who feel that RV should remain in person. Most likely, this comes from the past experiences of COVID-19 throughout the almost two-year period of completely virtual to hybrid learning, which may not have been an ideal educational situation for students. 

Do you feel that RV should go remote?

There is a substantial amount of students who feel that RV should not go remote, heavily outweighing those that do. However, those who feel that students should go remote have concerns about the rising numbers in COVID-19 after winter break.

Do you feel that RV should go hybrid?

There is a near 50/50 split between those who feel that RV should go hybrid. Contrasting from previous polls where students felt the school should remain in person or remote, this data shows that students would like the option to choose the type of education that makes them feel safest. Those who wish to remain in school would go on their own accord, and those who wish to remain at home can stay at home on their own arrangement. 

Do you think the mask protocol is enforced?

There is a significant percentage of students who feel that the masking protocol is properly enforced. Overall, it seems that RV is in fact enforcing their masking protocol to combat the rising numbers in COVID cases.

Do you know students from RV who are virtual due to COVID?

There is a substantial disparity in the percentage of individuals who know students at RV who are virtual due to COVID-19. This can be reasonably inferred, due to the fact that during and or after winter break, COVID-19 cases throughout the country were on the rise. As a result, students have to be quarantined for a certain amount of time at home, forcing students to participate in school online. 

Do you know anyone from other school districts that are virtual and/ or hybrid?

Without a doubt, there is a considerable percentage of students who know people from other school districts that are virtual and or hybrid. This can be understandable, due to the fact that other locations have different policies and each school district has different amounts of COVID-19 cases, which would change their situation. Thus, this would mean each school district has an individual experience and a different protocol that would allow their students to participate in school from either virtual or hybrid. 


Talking to students about COVID-19  altogether and their reactions to it, many felt it affected them in myriad ways. “[COVID-19] made my mental health decline,” said one senior. Another senior expressed their thoughts on the general decline of mental health due to the pandemic: “The effects of COVID-19 in quarantine has made people realize how detrimental mental health is to society.” 

As seen from the polls regarding whether or not RV should stay remote, virtual or even hybrid, there are many conflicting views.

Some students highlighted their reasons why they would want to go remote, based on rising numbers of COVID cases after our return from winter break. One senior stated, “Towards the beginning of January and at the end of December, I think it would have been better if we had gone remote or at least hybrid because so many people were out of class and there was really no point to being in here [RV] and COVID-19 kept spreading because people didn’t know that they had it. By staying out of school for at least two weeks, we would have had more people in class right now versus having people continually out of class.” 

As for student-athletes, their reaction to COVID-19 is without a doubt influenced by how the new protocols and safety measures implemented in order to combat the spread affected their ability to participate in their sport. For one student-athlete, his experience throughout the pandemic has changed, “Last year during COVID-19, I went in person because I liked it better, but this year it has been tough with the mask and it’s harder to identify people. Especially with sports seasons, with filling out the forms, it has been tough overall.” 

Without a doubt, COVID-19 is a strenuous adaptation to everyone’s lives after nearly two years. Students throughout the world continue to persist and adjust in their everyday lives, however, as can be seen in our polls, student reactions to COVID-19 cases are not evenly divided. These polls indicate varying attitudes towards COVID-19 altogether and how RV has handled it.  Despite these differences, RV will continue to weather the storms ahead, in person, for as long as we can.