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COVID Cases on the Rise After Universities Reopen

School is back in session for millions of college students across the United States, and it just might be over before it can truly begin. As students return to their college campuses amid a pandemic, the number of COVID-19 cases has continued to climb.  

The spike in cases has been linked to students throwing parties and their lack of following social distancing practices. In the first week, Florida State University’s President John Thrasher sent an email to the student body discussing his frustrations with several students hosting house parties and not social distancing. Videos of students from Oklahoma State, the University of North Georgia and other universities partying off-campus without taking any safety precautions have gone viral across multiple social media platforms.

Failure to comply with basic safety rules and the uptick in cases have already led to many colleges like U.N.C. Chapel Hill to switch to online remote learning until the administration sees a change in case numbers and student behavior. For the students who have continued to follow the rules, this has only caused them to become more frustrated with their classmates. 

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Some college students have various opinions on the current situation. 

One student, Alex Barstow explained, “Partying is stupid, and people should show some self-restraint during this time. It’s ridiculous that people are going out and partying when people are dying from COVID. Is it really that hard for you to do your part and just stay home?”

Another student, Kaiden Buscemi, understands why students are frustrated and stated, “I get that people miss that human connection and going out and doing everyday things, but we must continue to take this seriously, if not for our own sake, then for the sake of others that are more susceptible around them."  

Many of the students that are out partying also fail to acknowledge the domino effect of their actions. Not only does partying place the lives of fellow students at risk, but also teachers and anyone else they encounter while running errands and their families. Student Mae Baltz stated, “It is a complete act of selfishness and ignorance to put your entertainment above other peoples’ lives.”

According to the CDC, older people, much like the teachers and administration on campus, are more susceptible and are at a greater risk for developing complications from COVID-19. This also does not consider those of which have underlying medical conditions. Going out and partying does not just affect the people that actively choose to party, so it is important to be careful and only go out if necessary.  

Some CDC guidelines to keep you and the people around you safe:  

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.  
  • Avoid close contact with others.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a mask when around others.
  • Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze with a tissue or use the inside of your elbow and immediately wash your hands after.  
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched areas (especially those living in dorms).
  • Monitor your health daily and check for symptoms.  

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Jahnaezha McFadden is a first-year Biological Science major at Florida State University. She has a passion for advocacy, journalism, and science. She enjoys binging TV shows on Netflix and Hulu and you can typically find her crying over a fictional breakup or death.
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