Yes, I know, we’re all tired of hearing about COVID-19 and what procedures are subject to change as the semester progresses. We know to wear masks, hand sanitizer is in our bags and pockets, and we’re all using GrubHub more than any other app; but what do we do when we see our friends being a little too relaxed after being on campus?
I had been in a COVID hotspot the entirety of quarantine, and was working retail for a majority of the time, so getting tested before coming back to campus wasn’t even a debate. Each of my roommates also got tested before we reached Blacksburg to move in.
After I returned to campus, I was beyond excited to see my friends again and start having COVID friendly gatherings; from limiting the amount of people in my home at once to making sure that everyone's hands were clean and washed, my roommates and I had set rules in place for our home ensuring the safety of ourselves, our neighbors, and our friends. Though it felt uncomfortable to hear friends talking about their annoyances of having to always wear a mask and that the social distancing is hard to maintain, the discussion of getting tested made me feel uneasy.
So what do you do if you’re in a situation with people you love and care for, but aren’t treating the pandemic as seriously as you are? Well, there’s a few things you could say and do in order to keep yourself and them safe.
First, don’t be aggressive with your statistics and facts. Though you should be following CDC guidelines, yelling facts at someone and debating it won’t make anyone listen any easier. Instead, follow the guidelines for your own self rather than to force someone else to do it. Wear your mask, stay six feet apart, and keep your hands clean.
Second, if your friend hasn’t gotten tested but you know they have been out or not following the CDC/campus guidelines, limit the amount of time you spend with them and simply encourage them to do it to protect themselves and their roommates or family members. Remember, if they say no, it’s not up to you to make them do it.
Finally, keep yourself safe- that is your first priority. I know that there can be a huge feeling of missing out, wanting to go out with friends, or just have campus life resume to normal, but unfortunately that is still going to have to be on pause. Keep a spare mask in your bag along with some pocket sanitizer, and be sure to socially distance yourself as much as you possibly can. Stay safe Hokies!