Why being COVID cautious matters

After a much needed winter break, students at Minnesota State University are getting started with classes again. This semester more students and professors are ditching the old ways of Zoom and instead are utilizing the in-person class option to gain back some sense of normalcy.

While this may be great for class productivity, COVID-19 is still looming above our heads and we need to be prepared. The Omicront variant is believed to be the dominant variant of COVID-19 in Minnesota, with case numbers on the rise. This variant is easier to spread around, and with large numbers of students returning to campus, it’s likely that COVID-19 cases will shoot back up.

If the number of positive cases rise too high, we could easily be moved back to a completely online format again. After dealing with online classes for almost two years, it’s doubtful that anyone wants to go back to that style of learning. It creates a distance between classmates and professors, and makes it feel as if the time spent for the class isn’t as beneficial as it could be in-person.

With this, we as students need to be held to some responsibility to suppress the number of COVID-19 cases on campus to enjoy the college student activities we just earned back and enjoy the most. These activities include sporting events, club ventures, and, of course, graduation ceremonies.

The University already has a mask mandate implemented, meaning that anyone, regardless of vaccination status, must be properly wearing a face mask while inside campus buildings in order to help stop the spread of the virus. This is a step in the right direction, but there’s more that students and faculty alike can do to prevent COVID-19 from overtaking the campus.

If you are able to, getting vaccinated is the best way to keep yourself and others safe. There are multiple locations in the Mankato area that offer the vaccine, as well as the booster shot, to those who wish to receive it. 

If you aren’t able to travel far from campus, do not worry. There will be a vaccine site set up in Carkoski Commons, where the old Dining Hall was once at, with shots available for everyone on Jan. 20 and 21. More information about the vaccine clinic can be found on the Student Health Services website.

If we as students want to continue striving for a normal college experience we need to put in the work for it. Getting vaccinated, wearing a mask on campus, and getting tested when necessary will help keep the campus community safe and healthy. In result, this will allow the college activities we love to continue happening.

Header Photo: Students return to campus for Spring Semester at MSU. (Dylan Engel/The Reporter)

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