'It felt like deja vu.' School districts return to virtual learning as COVID-19 continues to surge

Posted at 6:07 AM, Jan 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-10 06:08:28-05

(WXYZ) — School districts are scrambling to switch back to virtual learning as COVID cases continue to rise in Metro Detroit

"It felt like deja vu like omg here we go again," mother of three Southfield Public Schools students Kristian Whidby said.

On Saturday, the district announced it will keep classes online until at least January 14th. Whidby says it should be longer.

"I think that it's safe and better for everybody if the children remain virtual," she said.

Whidby says it's not worth the risk to return right now because she knows firsthand the impact COVID can have on children.

Her 9-year-old son caught the virus and she says it took him months to fully recover. This year, she does not want to risk another exposure.

"My son was very sick," she said. "We had several 911 calls, shortness of breath. He couldn't breathe, vomiting, couldn't keep any food down, vomiting, high fever body aches."

Salena Thomas says her 10-year-old daughter had COVID two weeks ago. Her symptoms were mild but she too does not want to risk getting it again. So, they're getting vaccinated.

Thomas was one of about 100 cars lined up in the parking lot of Detroit Enterprise Academy for its vaccine clinic.

"I wanted to make sure that they didn't get sick when they go back to school and get infected or infect anybody else's kids," she said.

Principal of Detroit Enterprise Academy Emily Gagnon says the vaccination event was necessary. They had a team from Wayne Mobile Health there to educate and to answer questions for those who had hesitancy about getting the vaccine.

"More and more are really taking this virus seriously," Gagnon said. "And understanding how important it is to get their child vaccinated."