Public funding could help decrease the spread of COVID-19 in schools
Right now it appears as if the University is going to re-open campus with some guidelines to try to stop people from spreading coronavirus. The situation is pretty vague as I do not actually know if campus will re-open or if the University has a say in the matter.
Regardless, it is a shame money motivated enough people in such a way to put others at a greater risk of ruining their lungs. Houston is a big city with a lot of infected people and a lot of them have no visible symptoms.
It is an extreme risk to open campus, regardless of how many people are allowed in the buildings. The coronavirus is dangerous and the easiest way to subdue the problem was stopped in May. We are currently in the worst case scenario as cases continue to rise in the nation.
For what it is worth, one long term solution to this situation is to devote more public funds into schools. This would allow campuses to keep employees and students safe while also allowing employees to not have to worry financially.
Additionally, schools could use more money in order to hire more teachers. This way professors will have a lighter load of students, fewer people will interact with each other and more money will go into the economy!
However, this should only happen when coronavirus cases go down and new hires are able to get a living wage. The last point is not possible without more money.
We know classes above a certain size will have a greater focus on online learning and all classes will go online after Thanksgiving break, which is better than nothing.
It feels immoral to open the University. However, this highlights the issue of having basically corporate monopolies regulate job access; they are pressured to make money even when there’s a virus that’ll ruin your lungs if you get unlucky.
On a different note, masks are required in public spaces at UH. This does not apply to situations where you are eating, working out outside or when wearing a mask poses a mental or physical health, safety or security risk.
I don’t think this addresses what will happen with on-campus housing, as having a bunch of strangers gather in a building might not be safe.
Nasty stuff, like sneezing and wheezing, happens in the dorms all the time which will almost certainly breed an unsafe environment for those living on campus, assuming safety precautions are not taken.
In the short term, the University should increase the amount of online-only classes, which will allow more people to stay in quarantine. It stinks that staying in quarantine is no longer required, however it is relatively easy to do and the University should do its part.
For more of The Cougar’s coronavirus coverage, click here.
Santiago Gaughan is an education sophomore who can be reached at [email protected]