Safety, sci-fi, or child abuse? High school band members crammed into pods raises a ruckus

In what almost looked like scenes from a science fiction movie, images shared on Twitter showed members of a high school band in Washington state practicing in small enclosures as part of COVID-19-related safety precautions.

Wenatchee, Wa., High School in the eastern part of the state reportedly opened up on January 26 on a hybrid schedule, with Mondays all remote, and the rest of the week on a morning or afternoon attendance basis.

During their practice session in the school auditorium, band members are reportedly wrapped up in their own single-use, small pop-tent and are kept apart by six feet. Moreover, the band practices in 50-50 shifts, the Wenatchee World, which published several photos of the band members playing their instruments in their green pods, explained.

Masks are reportedly required inside the school building presumably unless students are engaged in certain activities like playing a wind instrument. According to Wenatchee Principal Eric Anderson: “You get kids back in the building, you get a lot of smiles even with masks on. You can tell people are happy.”


The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been a proponent of reopening schools with appropriate safety measures in place. “Evidence suggests that many K-12 schools that have strictly implemented mitigation strategies have been able to safely open for in-person instruction and remain open,” the agency has indicated as part of its guidance.

Kids in tents constitutes a unique wrinkle, as it were, for social distancing, if not music. It also looks rather claustrophobic.

Social media users, however, including U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, are quite skeptical. Here is just a sampling.

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Robert Jonathan


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