COVID Strikes Again


Isabel Downey and Brendan Gelnaw do homework during study hall.

Bella Blount listens to a video and does homework during study hall.

According to The New York Times, in Palm Beach County alone, there have been 53,939 cases of Covid in the past two weeks.  With COVID-19 cases rising again, The Benjamin School’s protocols changed prior to the start of the second semester to help keep the school community safe. Students and faculty are once again required to wear masks while indoors and stay six feet apart at all times. Prior to winter break, it seemed like the School was inching back to some normalcy as students and faculty were not required to wear masks, and there were even assemblies and events starting to be held in the BPAC (Monday morning middle school assemblies and the sixth-grade wheel).

However, the rising cases have forced the School to tighten up its safety protocols.

“I do think it is a good idea for us all to be wearing masks indoors during this spike in the virus,” said LS/MS Student Services Director Mrs. Susan Poncy.“I believe in erring on the side of caution and if there is anything we can do to keep our students, teachers, and loved ones safe we should do it.” 

The students are less enthusiastic about the new mandates.

I feel annoyed by having to wear masks again because everyone was so excited about not having to wear them and now we have to again,” said sixth-grader Elle Sorenson. 

Students and teachers alike are adjusting to the new rules.

“I try to give myself enough space so that I can take [my mask] off at times so they can understand me better or go outside, that’s why we’ve been having health outside,” said middle school physical education teacher Mr. Greg Keller.  

Many events have been postponed or moved online as opposed to live and in person.

For example, shadow days for eighth-graders, where they follow a high schooler at the Upper School for a day, have been postponed for the month of January. Likewise, all field trips for the month of January have been postponed, and the middle school spelling bee will be a virtual event with only the contestants and judges in the BPAC. In addition, The Variety Show, which was supposed to culminate in two live performances on January 16, pre-recorded its acts over two days in Benjamin Hall and will be sent out to the school community the week of January 17.  

I completely understand why the school decided to record the Variety Show rather than have a live performance with a full house,” said eighth-grader Bryce Seger, a member of The Sparklers, the Middle School’s dance team. “Due to the COVID cases rising, it makes sense. But, I am upset that I won’t have an audience to cheer me on,” she said.

The hope is that once this wave of cases is over, things can start getting back to normal on a more permanent basis. 

“It’s for everyone’s safety, so as long as we do it now, hopefully in the near future we won’t have to,” said eighth-grader Bella Blount.