Opinion: Staying outside during free time is the right thing to do


Photo courtesy of Rebecca Safra

Students congregate in the hallways during passing periods and lunch.

Lincoln Aftergood, Reporter

There’s a common complaint plaguing the CESJDS halls regarding how the rule requiring students to be outside during free time stifles peoples’ ability to talk with others. While I understand that it may be less comfortable outside, the truth is that the rule effectively protects students’ health and still allows for lots of time with friends.

This rule is meant to prevent any spreading of COVID-19 and was implemented because students showed they could not practice proper social distancing inside. Even after being warned by teachers multiple times, groups of students still congregated and disobeyed school rules.

The same concept goes for students eating lunch outside as well. We are required to eat outside for a reason: it keeps us safer. While it’s tempting to eat lunch in the comfort of a classroom, eating outside is just inherently less risky.

The CDC has found that eating inside increases the possibility of contracting COVID-19, because of poor ventilation in buildings and the proximity to others. A different study done by the CDC found that adults who tested positive for COVID-19 were twice as likely to have eaten in a restaurant than people who tested negative. The risk of infection is clearly mitigated when we eat outside. 

Students congregate outside during a break. Students are required to be outside during lunch and passing periods to avoid crowding the halls. (Photo courtesy of Rebecca Safra)

Safety aside, being outside does not detract from the quality of the free time that we receive. We are still able to talk to our friends and teachers safely, and there is little reason to complain.

I feel that socialization is just as important for students as formal classroom learning. It allows them to develop their closest friendships or catch up with their classmates. This time is crucial for students to talk with friends and maintain the connections that are important to them. 

Having everyone go outside may even make this socialization easier. When everyone is required to go outside during free time, it becomes easy to find your friends as everyone is together. It eliminates the tiring process of searching for people through the halls before class begins.

It is understandable that people want to be more comfortable with their friends inside, but it is foolish to place one’s comfort over the safety of others. We as a community must stay vigilant and prioritize safety over anything else.