Great Debate: Benefits of Hybrid outweigh the benefits of Virtual learning

Jane Holmes, Staff Writer

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a burden on people of all age groups, even the younger generation. As the start to the 2020-2021 school year approached many schools decided to go with the hybrid schedule for students. This hybrid schedule puts students into two groups and those two groups rotate in-person and virtual school days. Today in the United States, there are approximately 46,459 cases of COVID-19. In NBC’s article on hybrid learning, the staff reporters mentioned that participating in hybrid learning was more dangerous than in-person. This is because of the constant jumping around from virtual to in-person, there is a more likely chance that the students will spread COVID 19. While this is true, many studies have shown the psychological view on this new lifestyle. Psychologists seem to universally agree on the superiority of the hybrid system. Many of these students have not been in large groups of people for over six months and, even if the students are together masked and six-feet apart, it is still crucial for them to experience social interactions. Molly Fitzsimmons, a Sophomore at Bernards stated, “It depends on the type of person you are because some students will like to work at home but others need the social interaction of hybrid learning. It is good that students have the choice.” Most high schools are giving students the choice between hybrid and virtual learning so that the student can do what they as well as their families feel comfortable with. Pediatricians’ comments on this topic differs depending on the area of their work and the age rage they are seeing. As they agree with the news reporters about the danger, they also factor in the psychological view. After speaking to a nurse practitioner, I was reassured that the importance for students to be going to school in person is extreme. She stated, “most students do not have proper support at home and the all-virtual program is very isolating for teenagers.” She proceeded to tell me that the risks of catching COVID-19 are less detrimental at home, but the younger population is at less risk. Most students staying home for virtual learning are not getting exercise. This nurse explained to me that the depression rates are increasing extremely during this time and normal coping mechanisms are easier to participate in when getting out of the house. She said,“Along with the depression rates increasing, the suicide and anxiety rates are going through the roof.” The distractions at school allow students to escape their suffering making hybrid learning a better alternative.