Insights: A Column


Josh Click, Photography Editor

   The new school year brings excitement for some and dismay for many. Having said that, there are a few items that need to be covered. Monkeypox was confirmed as an outbreak and shows no signs of going away on its own, and of course COVID-19’s rule is far from over. People can not act like they’ve finally crossed the bridge to normalcy.

   Turning a blind eye to COVID-19 is one thing, but ignoring the new infectious disease, Monkeypox, is a whole other story. If you have been living under a rock recently, Monkeypox is a virus caused by the variola virus, the same virus that caused smallpox. Monkeypox has had a rise in cases in the United States and other places around the world since May 2022. The outbreaks haven’t been taken seriously by the school district. Although on their website they state general information about how to spot the disease and some loose guidelines regarding close contact sports, there has been little to no awareness about it in schools (

   The cherry on top is the stigmatizations that are revealing themselves around Monkeypox. The incorrect notion is that Monkeypox is an STI and only spreading within the LGBTQIA+ community, more specifically among gay men. This utterly idiotic misconception is incredibly damaging and provides a breeding ground for homophobic / transphobic ideologies. Monkeypox is not a “gay disease” — anyone can be infected. I fear that if nothing is done to keep the spread at bay, this could turn into the modern-day HIV/AIDs epidemic, nasty political and economic falls included.

   Adding to that, COVID-19 outbreaks are becoming more and more apparent again, with students falling sick everyday. Just because it’s a new year with new classes and new friends, does not mean to stop following the needed precautions to keep each other safe. The New York Times reports that the seven-day average in San Diego county is 246 cases ( Comparing that number to previous averages from earlier this year makes this sound like great news, though that’s still 441 people that have to to stay home from school, jobs, and their families. COVID-19 is not over, and it should not be considered as such.

   Though I realize that getting everyone to keep their masks on now is not realistic, staying home if feeling sick is essential. If exposed, continue getting tested, and wear a mask. And finally, I can’t stress this enough, if you’re coughing up a storm in class, put on a mask and stop making a fuss about wearing one.

   If you’re going to take anything away from this, please see the importance of taking both COVID-19 and Monkeypox seriously and please keep everyone safe.