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How to Socialize While Being Coronavirus Safe

COVID-19 cases on college campuses went up almost immediately upon move-in as everyone began to go out without any limits. Students ignored the pandemic for a night out and continued to attend classes and expose their roommates. It’s understandable because we’re back in college after a government lockdown and mandatory quarantine where everyone was deprived of outside human interaction, however, the pandemic is very much alive and well.

There have been a total of  2,338 positive tests at the University of South Carolina but that doesn’t record the total of positive cases. The school shut down free testing stations for a period of time and there is an overwhelming amount of possible false negatives and asymptomatic cases.

Everyone is tired of staying in but what if you could have a fun time without exposing at risk students? Here’s what you need to do in order to socialize in a pandemic.

 

1. Wear the freaking mask.

It’s the least we can do.

As much as some people love to believe masks don’t work, according to M.D. Thomas Bader with Hackensack Maridian Health, domestic and international studies have shown that wearing a mask helps contain large respiratory droplets of the virus from traveling through the air. It also just creates a physical barrier. The best mask anyone can buy is a N95 Respirator which blocks at least 95% of particles in the air. According to a Stanford study, a cloth mask works just as well as a surgical mask with the right materials. If the plan for the night is going to a bar (with socially distant seating) wear a mask while walking around and if the plan is a kickback, wear your mask unless distanced. It’s the new normal and a courteous sign of respect around others.

 

2. Keep gatherings small.

Listen to the school’s guidelines and save the time and effort a conduct meeting takes while preventing the risk of suspension.

Most college apartments now have limits on guests we’re allowed to have in our apartments at a time including the living and pool areas. For example, The Hub is now only allowed 2 guests per resident in one unit. We can throw really fun kickbacks with only a few friends with games. If everyone follows these rules, no one can get in trouble with their university for blatantly ignoring a whole pandemic.

 

3. Social distancing is a friend. Not an enemy.

Everyone wants to go back to normal dancing on each other at parties, but Mrs. Rona said no. Games can be played, and dancing can still occur at a social distance. Try to keep a distance between you and others in bars or at small parties to prevent the spread.

 

4. Invest in hand sanitizer and a no contact thermometer.

Split the cost of useful pandemic necessities with the roomies.

A no contact thermometer is the best when hosting guests in an apartment. Although not everyone has a fever with COVID-19, it’s just another way to easily detect a sick individual and ultimately prevent further viral spread. Handheld hand sanitizer for going out is a perfect way to prevent oneself from getting sick but also make sure to have a few bottles in the apartment for people to use when hosting.

 

5. Stay in if someone comes down with indicator symptoms.

At risk students will thank you.

If someone within the apartment or dorm has a dry cough, fever or no sense of taste or smell; wipe everything down, stay in and wear masks in the shared living space. There’s no sense in anyone going back home and exposing more people, but be courteous and respect others’ health and wellbeing.

Stay safe and keep finding creative ways to both keep your social life alive and well and also prevent the spread of COVID-19!

 

Reagin von Lehe

South Carolina '23

Reagin von Lehe is a first-year Journalism Major at the University of South Carolina-Columbia. She's a writer and photographer for The Daily Gamecock as well as a part of the editorial staff for South Carolina's Her Campus.
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