RAMAZ ROUND TABLE: Should Ramaz release the names of students infected with Covid-19?

Letter+from+Mr.+Cannon+in+the+beginning+of+the+year+about+staying+at+home+policies.

Letter from Mr. Cannon in the beginning of the year about staying at home policies.

Sarah Silverman ’24, Sydney Eisenstein ’22, Avigail Dupont ’21, and Charlotte Kleeger ’24

Sarah Silverman ’24

Coronavirus has changed our lives, but it shouldn’t rob us of our decency. When someone contracts Covid they should get the respect and dignity of staying anonymous. According to school policy, our grades have been placed into “cohorts.” These cohorts are supposed to be bubbles in which if someone gets the virus they would be quarantined and likely tested. This approach should let those who have been infected stay anonymous. Why should it matter who had it? We were all in the same place, ate lunch together, and potentially spread germs to each other. We would have quarantined no matter who was infected.The act of naming the infector would not change the outcome of events. People judge others. That’s a fact. We, as high schoolers, like to see how we match up to everyone else. When someone comes forward saying they have Coronavirus, it can lead to a slippery slope of bullying and judgment. Leaving them anonymous would solve many issues. The world is a messy place right now, with people constantly placing blame and pointing fingers at others. Naming names doesn’t solve anything; the practices we do, however, can make a difference. If everyone were social distancing, we wouldn’t have these issues in the first place. Let’s give those who are suffering from the virus some peace, and come up with real solutions.

Sydney Eisenstein ’22

The general policy should be that students who have Covid should be able to remain anonymous because the student may feel that there is a stigma surrounding getting Covid. It should definitely not be mandatory for the school to release the student’s name because that rule would violate Hippa. Hippa is a federal law which protects patients’ medical information from being revealed without patients’ consent or knowledge. When a student tests positive, the school should ask the student and his/her parents if they would allow the school to disclose their name. The point of disclosing someone’s name is to give other members of the school the most accurate information on if they have been exposed to Covid. If a student understandably chooses to remain anonymous, then the school should disclose information about where the student has been and if he/she has been in school. If the student has been in school, the student’s cohort should be notified. It would be wrong for the school to release students’ names without their consent. Anyhow, it is unnecessary for the school to release the student’s name because the school can tell the student’s cohort to quarantine.

Avigail Dupont ’21

In general, I believe that illness is a private matter and that it is up to the sick person to decide whether they would like to disclose information about them being sick or not. However, anonymity, especially during Covid time, comes at a cost. If the names of those who have Covid is not publicly disclosed, people who came into contact with them and have not been notified are being denied information that helps them and the people they come into contact with – family members, friends, or even a stranger on the street. I understand that publicly disclosing names creates unwanted attention directed to those individuals, but such a unique time requires a reassessment of past protocols. I believe that during a global pandemic, one that has taken away 1.5 million lives and counting, public health should outweigh privacy concerns. Choosing between individual rights and community needs isn’t a simple issue, but in a time of crisis that affects each and everyone of us we have to be concerned about public health and the greater good.

Charlotte Kleeger ’24

In order to protect students, faculty and staff from Covid-19, it is imperative that students who are infected with the virus come forward. It is our right to know if somebody has Covid-19, so as to ensure that there is no spread that can reach people in the building, and their families. Furthermore, if a student came in contact with another student who has the virus, for their own safety and for others, they must be notified. I would hope that the students at Ramaz would have enough sense to come forward if they have the virus, without the administration telling them to do so. If students are forced to come forward, the pandemic might be taken a little more seriously by the student body- and perhaps remind them of what is at stake. This pandemic cannot be taken lightly. Covid-19 cases are on the rise in New York City right now. If we don’t take more precautions to stop the spread, we are putting the entire student-body, staff, faculty, and their families at risk.