Here we go again: will Monkeypox shut down schools?


Monkeypox can leave a painful rash, lasting for about two to four weeks.

The virus that has taken our world by storm. And no, it’s not COVID-19. 

Monkeypox, a rare infection that has brought recent concern to schools globally, is starting to gain more attention throughout our nation.

With recent cases in numbers up to 19,000, this virus is taking a prominent role in the latest vaccine production. According to a recent Palm Beach school district handout, “Vaccines for Monkeypox are only available for post exposure prophylaxis to close contacts of confirmed cases.” Though this will help supplies last, this seemingly is putting students attending school in a tough situation. 

Like COVID-19, Monkeypox is transmitted through various forms of direct contact. This includes respiratory droplets and other material within close proximity. On average, this virus is typically contagious for five to 13 days, leaving a painful rash, lasting for about two to four weeks. As a result, coming into contact with someone who has previously tested positive should have students on high alert, according to the school district handout. The most common symptoms include swollen lymph nodes, pustular rash, fever, and chills. 

As the number of cases continues to rise, the possibility of schoolwide closure has become a more frequent topic of discussion. Olympic Heights AICE Psychology teacher Dr. Seth Alper commented, “The current cases of the medical condition will not warrant a shut-down like before with COVID. Aside from the lower transfer rate, there is increased knowledge of the condition that will not cause a widespread response as what happened in 2020.” 

If schools did resort back to virtual learning, it would not only affect the day-to-day procedure, but would have a significant impact on the courses being taught. Whether it be math, science, or language arts, most educators agree that switching back to an all virtual learning environment would be disastrous. 

After recognizing the effects of COVID-19 on the 2020 graduating class, seniors are seeing the possible turnout of their final year. Although Monkeypox and COVID-19 are drastically different, the few similarities they do share are presenting students with an overwhelming sense of worry. 

“Even though it is for the safety of everyone, it is annoying due to the fact that we’ve already had a year and a half taken from us due to COVID,” OH senior, Elizabeth Deeb said. In the off chance that Monkeypox reaches its maximum case coverage, events such as prom, schoolwide testing, and graduation could be put on hold.

Though the Monkeypox virus has not yet reached its peak, it is on the rise, and students should be aware of what this virus can potentially bring to schools nationwide. After going through COVID-19, in addition to the knowledge we have now acquired, we can better prepare ourselves for what is to come. At the present time, students can work together to ensure that a healthy and safe learning environment is present each and every day moving forward.