Flu hits D.C. hard


The halls of Days Creek Charter School were not the usual pinball machine of students bustling into each other Monday.

According to the school, just under a half of all students were out sick. It was by far the highest rate of absences this school year.

“It was like constant discomfort. I couldn’t walk,” sophomore Ryan Newton said from home Monday. “I got up, spaced out and fell back down.”

Several more students reported being ill, but came to school anyway.

It is suspected that influenza is to blame, but with the Covid-19 pandemic entering its third year, students are cautious. The biggest difference between influenza and Covid-19 symptoms, according to the Mayo Clinic, is the presence of sneezing and congestion.

Many Days Creek students reported headaches and fevers, making the common cold unlikely this time around.

Regardless of the cause, making academic progress can be a challenge with so few students, teachers said.

“It throws a wrench in the plans,” science teacher Ryan Flerlage. “I don’t know if I should hold off on my lesson plan so kids don’t fall behind or continue and post it online for them to do on their own time.”

Varsity basketball games against North Douglas were cancelled Tuesday, as were JV boys games at Oakland and a middle school girls basketball game Monday.

The Mayo Clinic recommends rest, proper hydration and over-the-counter medicine for symptoms of influenza.