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Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Opinion

Be smart with on-campus hangouts, follow social distancing


Juana Garcia/The Cougar

Juana Garcia/The Cougar

Students moved in a couple of weeks ago and unsurprisingly, we have a few COVID-19 cases on campus already. However, for all of us living on campus, we have a responsibility to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our community as much as possible. 

In order to do this, we need to make smart decisions which involve social distancing, small social circles and not partying. 

The term “social distancing” has been banged into our heads since March and yet some people still don’t follow it. When out and about at school, do your best to stay away from people. 

If you’re in Student Center South having lunch, make sure you’re at least 6-feet apart from others. The same goes for the dining hall.

Be courteous and don’t block walkways so that others can get through without having to squeeze by. And when you’re in line for something and you see those red stickers on the ground that say “stand here,” stand there. Don’t stand right behind the person in front of you. 

While some people may be keeping their distance when getting food or shopping, they might still be hanging out with friends and what not. This isn’t necessarily bad, and it’s understandable that when on campus you’d want to hang out with friends.

Experts even agree that it’s hard to blame college students for seeking socialization, which is what college was all about. 

The key is keeping your social circle small and consistent. If you see your significant other and one other friend and they don’t see other people, that is fine.

What you don’t want is a case where you get COVID-19 from someone that’s four degrees of separation from you because the people you’re seeing are seeing other people who see other people and so on. 

Only seeing the same people is called social bubbling and it’s been recommended for slowly returning to normalcy after the pandemic. We’re not through this yet, but if you absolutely need to see people, make sure it’s a small and consistent group. 

Of course, many people have roommates so be sure to check with them about how many people they are comfortable with you seeing. It’s only right to do so since you share a space; if you were to bring something back, it’s likely that they would get it too. 

Lastly, do not party. And what I mean by that is don’t go to a party. Don’t be in a crowded space where you share food, drinks and sweat. 

It may be obvious to some people but many colleges across the country are experiencing large gatherings of students. At the same time, many colleges are also experiencing large outbreaks on campus.

Some may argue that parties should be allowed since on-campus housing is permitted, but remember: dorms are not just for partying.

Many students don’t have safe or comfortable places to have class and study outside of on campus housing. Not all students came here to party so don’t ruin it for those students who need to be on campus. 

So far we have very few on-campus cases, and that is great. Let’s try and keep it that way. 

Be responsible and keep your fellow students safe.

Anna Baker is an English junior who can be reached at [email protected]

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