The Effects of Omicron at Peddie


Conor McArdle

Student works with peers online in Humanities Class.

Aanya Tolat ’25, Staff Writer

Being able to reunite with peers after winter break is something many Peddie students look forward to. However, this year, there was a slight change in the return process. Due to Omicron, there was not only an increase of COVID-19 cases but also a myriad of people taking PCR tests to return to their day-to-day activities. 

When we returned to campus, several members of the Peddie community were online and attended their classes via Zoom. “I find it easier to learn in person because it’s easier to interact with my classmates and teachers, but everyone was super accommodating when I was remote, so I had a good experience,” Lexie Loughran ’25 said. As more students returned to campus, there was also an increasing number of daily COVID cases. Still, students are glad that they can stay in person. “I appreciate all of Peddie’s efforts to minimize COVID cases while still providing the best possible learning environment for us,” mentioned Emily DiVenti ’25. 

Students feel that Peddie is making a commendable effort in allowing students to remain on campus while being responsible and taking the necessary precautions. “I’m glad Peddie is taking measures to make sure everyone is safe, like telling us when there are new cases. It assures me that Peddie is doing what they can,” said Sarah Tong ’25. 

One of these precautions, in particular, is the change of schedule. By returning to the schedule that was in place at the beginning of the school year, Peddie can stagger lunches by grade, which significantly reduces the number of students in the dining hall at one time. Another protocol to combat rising COVID cases is the rule of strictly six people to a table while eating. Although these precautions aren’t the most favored within the Peddie community, many feel it is worth it because we don’t have to look at several rectangles on a Zoom screen. 

Furthermore, Peddie conducts contact tracing to help reduce the spread of COVID, especially when people are on the same sports teams where they are likely in close contact with one another. “I’m thankful that the staff at the Peddie Health Center takes the time to contact trace individuals who tested positive. It helps us stay safe, and I appreciate that” shared Carolina López-Watt ’25. 

“Being remote really made me appreciate how lucky we are to be at school in person most of the time,” said Loughran. At the beginning of this school year, it seemed as though there was a light at the end of the tunnel, especially when we could go back to the old schedule. Now, Omicron has forced everyone to take a few steps back. It has served as a reminder that COVID is still here. However, the protocols being taken by Peddie to try to keep us in person and go back to “normal” as soon as possible allow everyone to remain a somewhat optimistic outlook.