It is 2022 and COVID-19 is still running rampant all over the world. Unsurprisingly, ABAC has reported 42 positive student cases and eight positive employee cases on its Tifton campus as of Thursday, January 20.
We have been back on a campus little less than two weeks and are already experiencing the effects of this contagious virus. For some students, their semesters have yet to receive any negative setbacks due to COVID-19. Others, such as myself, have been confined to a room due to COVID-19 contraction or exposure.
While we cannot help but succumb to the invisible threat we are facing, we can take precautions to avoid being sick. Precautions students can take include mask-wearing, hand washing, properly distancing, or all the above. While there isn’t a push to wear masks everywhere, or even thoroughly wash one’s hands, it is important.
Students should also follow safety guidelines such as completing the electronic self-report form if they have contracted or been exposed. Because there are different variants, students should also be on the watch for symptoms such as fatigue, shortness of breath, fever, chills, loss of taste and smell, coughing and a runny nose. Keeping a watch on these symptoms will help students identify if they have the common cold, flu, or COVID-19 as they are all prevalent during the winter months. Although we cannot directly control when or where we will possibly contract COVID-19, it is important that we stay safe to ensure the health of students and staff.
As a senior, I do not want to miss any work or precious moments. I also know that self-reporting could pose problems for myself and others. However, it is an easy, responsible choice to make as I must be aware of others’ health and safety.
With the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) decreasing the quarantine period, missing class is less harsh on student progress because we will now miss only one week instead of two. However, there are a few stipulations. The CDC highly encourages mask wearing and recommends people receive a longer isolation period should their symptoms persist or grow worse. Although these stipulations may seem tiring, they are more relaxed than past rules and have become the silver linings of our COVID-19 cloud.
As the semester progresses, one can only hope things will continue to operate in a smooth fashion. After all, ABAC did grant students a full week off for spring break this year. We are all looking forward to it.
We must ensure that we take care of ourselves and the environment around us. Such a task can present itself as a hard task for many, but it is necessary. It will help us smoothly sail into the end of the semester without a huge waves of cases this semester.