Forcing normalcy

Recent COVID-19 surge should remind Quinnipiac students to continue following health protocols

Nicole McIsaac, Copy Editor

Doesn’t it feel great to be back on campus engulfed in classwork, reunited with your roommates and back in your usual element?

Graphic by Connor Lawless

Now imagine if all of that gets taken away, once again, because your fellow peers won’t take COVID-19 seriously anymore.

Quinnipiac University has officially moved to a yellow alert level after COVID-19 cases skyrocketed up to 16 positive infections in the past week, with a 0.8% positive testing rate over that span. It brings the positive case numbers up to 21 over the entire semester. Although those students are currently isolating away from the rest of the Quinnipiac population, the rapid increase of cases should immediately spike your concern.

I know what some people are probably thinking: There’s only three positive case on campus out of almost 15,000 tests that were performed, so there’s no need to panic just yet.

That’s where I disagree. Our actions will ultimately have a direct effect on whether we stay on campus or gather our belongings and head back to our hometowns. It’s quite simple: We NEED to follow university guidelines if we want to stay for the remainder of the semester.

Look, I get it. You want your life back. You want your Saturday nights at Toad’s Place. You want to be able to catch up with your friends and live your life to the fullest. You want a world without COVID-19. But here’s one question I have for you: Do you understand the full consequences that come with forcing life to just go back to normal?

Lives are on the line while being back here in Hamden. People are putting others’ safety and well-being at risk because they can’t follow new protocols and guidelines.

To put things in perspective, a 19-year-old student at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina, died from neurological complications that stemmed from COVID-19, according to Sheri Everts, the school’s chancellor. Sadly, we need to live our everyday college lives with this story in the back of our minds in order to ensure that this doesn’t happen here.

There are already colleges and universities across the country that have been in our position before, and regrettably, students are facing the consequences by sitting home in their bedrooms instead of their dorm rooms on campus.

Look at the State University of New York at Oneonta or University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for example, and how students were immediately sent home after cases spiked when they returned for the fall semester. Even K-12 schools in a closer proximity to us, such as Environmental Sciences Magnet School at Mary Hooker in Hartford or Eastern Middle School in Greenwich, found going fully virtual would be the safest option for students and faculty after cases kept rising.

Where did they start off? Exactly in the position that we are in right now — except we have the disposable tool of looking at their mistakes to ensure the same thing doesn’t occur here.

People need to realize just how easy it is to contract the virus and how easy it is to spread it. According to an online article from Web.MD, researchers say that every person who has COVID-19, whether they are asymptomatic or not, will likely go on to infect 2-2.5 people.

Someone can become sick by simply touching a door handle, not wiping down groceries, having a conversation with another person or sharing drinks with others among many other possibilities. This can all simply be avoided though, if everyone in the Quinnipiac community acts smart.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends people wear masks when in public settings and around those who don’t live in the same household as you, while also following proper 6-feet social-distancing guidelines. Masks prevent the spread of respiratory droplets from traveling from one individual to another — conclusively protecting everyone involved from COVID-19.

It’s simple. Social distance, clean your surfaces and belongings, wash your hands frequently, get tested and please, just wear a mask.