In reviewing some of the articles from last year, I found one I had written about the Coronavirus before it was a global pandemic, back when it was first starting off. In the article, the question of is the coronavirus the plague of 2020 was entertained. Looking back now, it’s crazy how much we did not know and did not realize about this virus as it was starting to pick up news coverage, back before it was in the United States.
However, six months later, we have much more understanding of the virus than we did then. Since February 2020, the Coronavirus (COVID-19) has been deemed a world pandemic. While the virus may not be up to the standards that we hold the term “plague” to, it has certainly changed our lives as we know it.
Six months ago, we did not need nor even know what masks were, aside from the ones that superheroes wore on television and movies. Now, we need to wear them wherever we go in order to protect ourselves and others. Over 800,000 individuals worldwide have passed from COVID-19, 182,000 of which were from the United States.
As summer comes to a close and schools pick back up, an influx of cases around the U.S. can be seen. School’s contributions to the spread of COVID-19 has been a hot topic in news media and also among friends. Seeing the news reports of events at other institutions and around the United States, where individuals are gathering in mass groups, recklessly without masks, it is hard to deny that our actions have an effect on the spread of the virus.
Our campus is not exempt from the consequences that come with these activities. Any large gathering without masks cannot be happening right now. The excitement to be back on campus with friends and organizations that we all love so much is valid, but we also must do everything we can to preserve our on-campus experience for the year.
While young people were not at first identified as a high-risk category for COVID-19, that does not mean that young people are immune to the effects of this virus. Even young people have faced serious outcomes from this illness, and that is nothing we want any individual on campus to have to face. That is nothing that we want our community to mourn. As a Staff Editorial from the Daily Eastern News wrote, “ Please don’t make us write a story from the perspective of a student who is bed-stricken due to COVID-19. Please don’t make us write a story about how all classes are online because too many students went out for a night and made the positive test numbers spike. Please don’t make us write your obituary this Fall.”
Please wear your mask, avoid large gatherings and do all you can to protect.