Staff Editorial: Students should reevaluate their pods

Importance in keeping people safe in small numbers


Ayelet Prottas

Seniors Claire Bargman and Olivia Etz ski at the track during Nordic’s first practice Jan. 4. The Nordic team has been split up into four pods with 25 people each.

With new changes in the community like the return to sports across Minnesota, the pod size of students has steadily grown. Opinions vary in the definition of what a pod is and how big it should be. The Echo Editorial board believes a pod is defined as a group of people that you spend time with following COVID-19 restrictions; we have also agreed that the people in your pod should consist of your family and possibly one friend.

With student participation in sports this season, the amount of contact they have with others will increase.This poses a risk to community members and has been discussed previously by the board. With families who have multiple students in sports the reality is that their pods have grown and increased the chances of a spike in cases. This accompanied with students participating in large pods poses serious risks to the community.

On social media platforms like Instagram and Snapchat, we see people from Park and other schools hanging out with new friends daily and considering them a part of their pod to excuse the disregard of precautions like socially distancing and mask wearing. While a small friend group may seem fine, the part that many people don’t take into account is who their friends are meeting outside of the pod. This paired with the scary reality that many people are asymptomatic until a few days after contracting the virus represents a serious problem.

Over the pandemic, the problem has stayed the same, but people grew restless during quarantine and began to disregard their original beliefs about safety and instead gave into the temptation of spending time with friends. Some people have pods consisting of 20 people and others have pods consisting of five. Regardless the fact is, the smaller the pod you have, the less likely you are to contract or spread the virus.

It’s not up to anyone but government officials to decide what your pod looks like. There can be changes made to a pod that poses fewer risks and creates a quicker halt in the spread of COVID-19. For example, if you choose to have a larger pod, try implementing more precautions to ensure safety like having discussions with pod members about how they are staying safe and ensuring that you and the people you meet outside your household are wearing a mask and socially distancing to a minimum of six feet. If you are participating in a sport, follow the guidelines to ensure the safety of you and your peers and to ensure the future of your season. 

Everyone plays a role in preventing the spread and the Editorial board believes that taking precautions now will help in the long run of keeping you and your family safe against the virus. Follow COVID-19 guidelines and stay in your household. Students should follow COVID-19 guidelines and regulate how many people they see.