Under the weather


Uriel Lopez

Illness brings delays to students work ethic and causes a struggle for them to catch up in school. Students’ only hope is to stay connected during their illness by a series of emails, leading to a decline in effective communication with their teachers.

I felt groggy as the cold air from the open window entered my room. The hoodie on top of the multiple layers of blankets was protecting me from nothing. As I was laying down in my cold bed, my head was pounding like a drum set, making all these events happening in just a blink of an eye.     

As the season changes and winter comes into play, the colder weather begins. As Texas.gov explains in a “Common Cold Fact Sheet”, more than a billion people suffer from the common cold. Usually, most colds occur during the fall and winter season. 

Unfortunately for me, I became one of those statistics. During my time of sickness, I felt there should have been more consideration from the school for students like me, trying to catch up on homework and classwork when they are not present. Ultimately, I felt distant from my teachers and a lack of effort from the school to support me. 

During Nov. 3, through Nov. 9, I myself experienced the common cold. I had gone to school on Wednesday, Nov. 2 and had a faint scratchy throat, but thought nothing of it and went on with my day at school. As the day went on, my throat started hurting more and I went to bed with a headache.

The next morning, I woke up and felt worse. My headache became awful–like a knife was cutting through my throat. I had asked my parents if I could stay home that day since I did not feel well. They let me stay as long as I emailed my teachers about what I missed that day. 

Finally, evening fell and it was time to sleep. I had taken cough medicine and drank lots of tea in hopes of feeling better. Throughout the night, I constantly woke up because I kept coughing, leaving me with little to no sleep at all. Once the morning came on Friday, Nov. 4, my parents came in to tell me that I was not going to go to school due to all my coughing. 

I felt frustrated by the fact that I had emailed my teachers a day prior and I had no response from any of them.

— Anissa Barajas

I felt horrible and the fact that I already missed two days of school made me feel vulnerable. I had tried getting in contact with my teachers by emailing them the day prior, but none had responded until a day after. On top of my sickness, not having smooth communication with my teachers made me feel even unheard and created more stress for me.  

The weekend had come and I thought to myself, I should be good over the weekend, I should be going back to school on Monday. Unfortunately, I felt weaker and my cough worsened, my nose running even more than usual. This resulted in me missing school for five days.

I only had one response from my teachers, so I decided to email them once again. I felt frustrated by the fact that I had emailed my teachers a day prior and I had no response from any of them. Missing out on classwork and homework left me feeling defeated and helpless.

Finally, after 4 days I had received replies from most of my teachers and learned what they had covered during my absence. I was stuck at home, leaving me only one option to do my work: online. However, most of my work was on paper, making it difficult for me to get work done since I didn’t have the worksheets. My hope of finishing work did not last long though, as I felt doomed with falling behind on paperwork. 

Though I was only gone for five days, I was behind in school. It was difficult to get a hold of my teachers, but it was much harder catching up on all the work. I had to ask my classmates for previous classwork and homework, and asked my teachers for extensions on deadlines.

After a lot of medicine and tea, I finally started feeling better and was able to go back to school. The week I came back, I was met with the realization that several other students also fell victim to the common cold. My friends had told me that a lot of their classrooms were empty with only a few students present. It was comforting knowing I was not the only one who had suffered from trying to recuperate from all my missing work. 

While I was sick in bed, school still continued. It was tough for me to catch up, but the stress I experienced would have been relieved if I had more support during my time of sickness.