We need to stay COVID safe during hoco

As Homecoming week is upon for the first time since 2019, it’s important for us to revisit what we as students can do to keep ourselves and the community COVID safe, as well as why we should be taking these precautions.

For a lot of students at Minnesota State University, Mankato, this is their first homecoming  experience. After missing out on freshman year, it makes this year’s festivities that much more exciting. With everything back in action, it is tempting to just forget about everything we have practiced over the past 18 months and party like we never have before. While taking part in the events all around campus is encouraged, there is a smart way to go about it.

First and foremost, COVID-19 is still among us and is very alive and well. According to the Minnesota Department of Health, confirmed cases of COVID-19 have only been rising since we’ve been back in class. This is a worrying trend for students because it means that the biggest gathering of students in Mankato is a very probable cause for an outbreak in our community.

It is one of our goals as a collective community to stop the spread as much as possible. Being vaccinated is one of the more important pieces of doing your part. As we’ve seen with our friends and family, though, people can still contract the virus while being vaccinated. This is why wearing a mask and social distancing wherever possible is still very relevant.

There will be some situations where social distancing will not be able to be practiced, so wearing a mask will go a long way. At the football game where the Mavericks will take on the Concordia-St. Paul Golden Bears in the homecoming football game and homecoming concert featuring Jesse McCartney are two events where social distancing will be virtually impossible, but is still a great opportunity to practice wearing a mask and doing your part.

If these precautions aren’t taken, we will be seeing the effects in the weeks to come and how it will impact the student body and university.

It is likely that we will end up going back to a similar lifestyle of the semester of the fall of 2020, where campus will have plenty of limitations, classes will be held via Zoom, and plenty of students won’t be able to experience the college lifestyle we have all been waiting fa long time for.

Not only should we take these precautions during homecoming, but also for the weeks after, especially into and through Halloween. In a time where COVID-19 is very susceptible to be contracted, we need to make sure we are doing the most to mitigate confirmed cases throughout the community. In the case that you do contract the virus, it is highly encouraged to report your case to the University.

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