If someone asked me to sum up the first three days of classes in one word, my answer would be blunt, yet simple: hellish.
I knew going in that there would be plenty of careless folk who would choose to party it up. Little did I know, the low bar I had already set would be crawled under.
As you might recall, Northwest President John Jasinski sent out a letter to the Bearcat family Friday pleading for people to exercise their best judgment this past weekend. Being responsible is already a difficult trait to master for more than a few people I know, but I digress. As I sit down to write this, 28 of the 83 active COVID-19 cases in Nodaway County are tied to Northwest students and faculty members.
I was pleasantly surprised at how many classmates of mine were masking up and practicing proper physical distancing. Even in classes with higher enrollments, I was taken aback by what I saw. Although spacing everyone out was difficult, I could tell faculty and staff were doing the best they can at enforcing safety protocols, including proper sanitation of commonly-touched surfaces.
However, as I reiterated last week, there’s only so much instructors, custodial staff and those at Wellness Services can do.
Students need to pull their weight just as much, if not more, in order for us to knock the spread of this virus out.
Some of you might be asking what more you could possibly do, even with all the precautions we’re forced to take. Let me start by making one thing clear. Now is not the time to freak out. Remain vigilant, but calm. Don’t let the fear of catching and/or spreading this virus send your life into a spiral.
You can be social — go out with your friends and grab dinner, go catch a flick at the recently-reopened AMC theaters — screw it, going to Walmart is something to be excited about these days. Just be smart and safe while you’re out on your little excursions. Limit the number of people you’re in a group with. If you’re that desperate for a larger gathering, have a FaceTime call from home.
Better yet, if you’re staying on campus, there’s plenty to do. It might not look like it should you gaze out your dorm room window, but I swear, there are plenty of chances to get out and breathe some fresh air — through a mask, of course.
I’m not saying don’t have fun. Believe me, even for people who hate socializing, this sucks in every way possible. I just wish some of you would think before you act.