Kirkwood High School student newspaper

The Kirkwood Call

Kirkwood High School student newspaper

The Kirkwood Call

Kirkwood High School student newspaper

The Kirkwood Call

Covid making a comeback

A+student+stands+in+a+crowded+hallway+with+sick+students+and+germs+all+around.
Claire Schlarman
A student stands in a crowded hallway with sick students and germs all around.

COVID-19 cases are on the rise yet again, with a daily average of 201 COVID-related hospital admissions in Missouri since Sept. 23, according to the New York Times. Patients with COVID-19 are now taking up 3.0% of hospital beds.

 May 11, 2023 marked the end of the federal COVID-19 public health emergency declaration. However, cases are beginning to increase. As of Aug. 29, hospitalizations had jumped more than 21% compared to the prior week, according to NPR. After attending a birthday party at the beginning of the 2023-2024 school year, Ava Horn, junior, tested positive for COVID-19.

“I was on vacation in Branson with my grandparents and brother, and started developing symptoms when I got there,” Horn said. “I had trouble breathing, [body aches], [and] a fever. [When] I got tested, it was positive.”

Horn had symptoms for four days, and was quarantined for five days total. She also had COVID-19 last year during the summer, but said she felt her second time was a worse experience.

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I had to postpone tests in some of my classes. It’s hard, especially as a junior.

— Ava Horn

“I [was really] behind,” Horn said. “I had to postpone tests in some of my classes. It’s hard, especially as a junior.” 

Sarah Duncan, junior, also tested positive for COVID-19 at the beginning of the school year. She was quarantined for five days total, and said she had mild symptoms such as a sore throat and runny nose.

“Missing the first two days of school is really hard, because that’s when you’re getting to know your teachers,” Duncan said. “Grades wise, it wasn’t too bad since it was the first week of school and we weren’t learning a lot.”

Duncan and Horn said they feel COVID-19 cases are on the rise in their community. Both students said they know multiple people who have been diagnosed since the beginning of the school year.

“I’ve had a few friends who had COVID-19, and I’ve heard a lot about it from other people,” Duncan said. “My mom had [it], and I got it from her.”

Tracy Ludbrook has worked as a nurse at KHS for a year and worked as a medical nurse for 30 years. She worked in the ICU during the start of COVID and was in charge of dialysis. Dialysis is a procedure to remove waste products and excess fluid from the blood whenever the kidneys stop working properly.

“It was intense,” Ludbrook said. “Looking back, there were so many things that we had to do that weren’t really necessary, but we didn’t know how bad [the] virus was going to be. It just added to the work we had to do as nurses, to gown up f

rom head to toe before even walking into someone’s room. Now, we just wear a mask.”

Horn and Duncan aren’t the only KHS students who have had COVID-19 this school year. Ludbrook talked about how KHS has had several students have to quarantine since the end of Aug.

“I’ve noticed an [increase in COVID-19 cases] in the last month,” Ludbrook said. “We’ve had a lot of kids call in that are positive.”

With allergy season coming up, germs can be easily spread at school, according to the CDC. Ludbrook has advice for students to help stop the spread of germs and limit illness in kids.

“I encourage kids to take a pill every morning if they have allergies, and that will ward off headaches you might get from allergies,” Ludbrook said. “As far as staying away from germs, wash your hands, use hand sanitizer and don’t rub your eyes.”

There has been discourse in the U.S. about bringing the mask mandate back, with some hospitals and schools bringing back mask requirements. KHS has not yet reinstated a mask mandate.

“I hope [the mask mandate] doesn’t come back,” Ludbrook said. “I understand that to protect the very young and elderly, masks are good. But I think COVID-19 is just another virus that we’re going to have to learn to take precautions for. I don’t know if it’s necessary at schools to bring the mask mandate back.”

As a student, Horn has a different point of view when it comes to the mask mandate being brought back. Horn said that she wore a mask her first day back at school because she wanted to make sure others weren’t exposed to her.

“I feel like it really just depends on if people have symptoms,” Horn said. “If you recently had an experience with COVID or had any symptoms, you should wear a mask. Not just for yourself, but to help others. Sickness is everywhere at the beginning of the [school] year, from what I’ve learned.”

“If you recently had an experience with COVID or had any symptoms, you should wear a mask. Not just for yourself, but to help others. Sickness is everywhere at the beginning of the [school] year, from what I’ve learned.”

— Ava Horn

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Grayci Branam, news writer
She/Her Hobbies and Interests: reading, writing Favorite song: Magnolia Favorite Quote: “Cut me open and the light streams out. Stitch me up and the light keeps streaming out between the stitches.” -Richard Siken
She/Her Hobbies and Interests: playing acoustic/electric guitar Favorite movie: White Chicks Favorite Quote: "To make yourself feel nothing so as not to feel anything - what a waste!" -Call Me by Your Name
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