Covid cases soar in May

Joshua Singer

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The number of Moco students who were quarantined in May reached a number second to only January.

Courtesy of MCPS

The number of Moco students who were quarantined in May reached a number second to only January.

Warm weather, the beginning of the end of school, Mother’s Day and blooming flowers. The month of May brings many things unique to this time of the year. This year May brought another thing too: a spike in Covid cases.

On May 16, the New York Times reported that Montgomery County had 704 new cases of Covid, the highest number since January of this year. Furthermore, there were many days in May where there were over 600 new cases in MoCo, which had not occurred since the Omicron spike last winter. This also does not account for the many people who tested positive on a rapid test and did not report their test to the county or state.

“I took a rapid test and I informed everyone who was a close contact to me, but I do not think I reported my positive test to the state,” freshman Dylan Himelfarb, who tested positive in May, said.

Many mask restrictions were dropped right before spring break, and masks have become an increasingly uncommon sight in public spaces due to “Covid fatigue”, which made the rise in cases somewhat predictable.

I think [the rise in cases] is because people took their masks off because they are sick of Covid and I understand that. That is a very human reaction. You just want to live.”

— Biology teacher Patricia Richards

While recent variants have been less deadly, especially for vaccinated individuals, many students are still concerned about what getting the virus means for their loved ones.

“I was pretty worried about my family, not really about me personally, but I was worried about my grandparents, my dad and my mom,” sophomore JR Dubose, who tested positive in May said.

Many new sub variants of Omicron have recently popped up such as BA.1.1.529, BA.1, BA.1.1, BA.2, BA.3, BA.4 and BA.5. These sub variants have been one significant cause of the uptick in cases and have also led to some people contracting the virus for a second or even third time. With large gatherings such as indoor parties becoming more and more common along with these new, more transmissible variants, the likelihood of contracting the virus has risen. New cases seem to have hit a plateau as cases do not seem to be rising or falling since the beginning of June.

“I think it has to do with larger gatherings happening and people being more relaxed with masks especially as there was a little bit of a spike after Prom. Also there are the different variants that are a little more contagious,” attendance secretary Maia Lawn said.