If you had asked me how long I thought it would take the state of things to get back to normal back when this whole thing had initially started, I would’ve probably said something to the effect of everything being close to normal sometime last fall. Maybe not right away in September, but certainly before winter break. The idea that the situation we are in now, roughly a year out from when the virus first began to be on at least my radar, is actually much worse off than where we were when it felt like the world was ending, absolutely baffles me. Looking back on everything that has happened in the past year, I’m struck by how many opportunities we as a nation – and more largely as a world – had to either halt or at least severely weaken as a function of Covid’s hold and spread. Rather than acknowledging those opportunities however, science and basic history of disease were ignored or rejected in favor of disbelief or the word of politicians.
Again we are in the beginning of another college semester that will be spent in fear and uncertainty. On a smaller scale, how will we as a college react to this adversity? Will we succumb to Covid fatigue and exacerbate an already dire situation? Or will we finally whole-heartedly listen to the words of experts in the hope of having a more normal fall semester? How many more senior sports seasons, graduations, trips, visits to family, nights with friends, and most importantly, lives, are we willing to sacrifice in order to keep living as though we are not battling a pandemic? I think we owe it to the 449,485 people who have died in the U.S., and the 2,262,335 people who have died worldwide at this point from Covid to finally listen to science and to stop complaining about the loss of individual freedoms while trying to curb the spread of this deadly virus. My advice for those on campus here at Saint Mike’s this spring: Please be conscientious of how your decisions may impact others. I want things to go back to normal as much as anybody, but we can’t get back to doing that until we all weather this storm.