The Naked Truth/Jamala Rogers

Jamala RogersColor

COVID on Your Campus

If you’re a rational parent or grandparent, you have plenty of concerns as you send you precious child off to college. With the Delta variant raging across the country, we find ourselves facing new COVID-19 challenges and old mindsets. The variant cases are reportedly nestled in the bodies of the mostly unvaccinated. Where does that leave the rest of us?

Many universities and colleges are approaching the pandemic very different from last fall. Among those tracking COVID cases on campuses was the Business Insider. It published a list of 70 institutions of higher learning (including med schools) which had 100 cases or more.

I was totally outdone when I heard that campuses were opening up with no stringent guidelines for students. Campuses were super-spreaders. Students were contracting the virus, too many were dying. Anyone who’s been on a campus for a New York minute knows that it’s near impossible to keep young people isolated and safe. Campuses are as much social spaces as they are learning spaces.

A family meeting decided the fate of my own granddaughter: she would be a remote student for her first year of college. She’s happy to go off to college this year. She’s vaccinated and her university has put responsible COVID guidelines in place.

 

It appears that some important lessons have been learned the hard way in the last year. With no leadership coming from the White House prior to November 2020, the vacuum was filled with misinformation and conspiracy theories. Incompetency and negligence had deadly results.

The Center for Disease Control has clocked over 35,530,951 coronavirus cases and 613,658 deaths in the U.S. Our lives have been turned upside down.  Few families, businesses or other institutions were unscathed.

The University of Wisconsin has put plans in place for the campuses in its system. The Delta variant of COVID-19 has shown up in the state. This fall, all students, employees and visitors to the campus will be required to wear masks indoors regardless of vaccination status. This was a major policy change from earlier this summer — and a wise one.

Another wise decision made by university officials was mandating weekly testing for unvaccinated students and employees. When we’re all in a space together and a pandemic is running rampant, those of sound mind must also think for others in order to keep everybody safe.

GOP lawmakers seem to be hell-bent on contributing to the deaths of more Americans. On local, state and national levels, these extremists are banning and overturning mask mandates and required vaccinations. Anyone listening to these crazies must be suicidal.

Wisconsin University officials are taking COVID seriously. Consequences are in place for students who repeatedly defy the policy. Resistant employees could face termination.

Too bad we can’t apply these same sanctions to Republican ideologues. With more power over our lives, they are more dangerous. Deadly dangerous and we have the bodies to prove it.

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