The race to Thanksgiving break is in full speed
Jessica Guerrucci – Editor-in-Chief
Think back to March 10. A email notification pops up. The subject line reads “From the President: Campus Closing Wednesday.” This, my friends, was only just the beginning of an entirely changed college experience.
A university closure, that would supposedly last five days, turned into months.
Residence halls shuttered, a lively campus suddenly had gone silent, all because a student “attended a meeting in another state where another participant subsequently tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus.”
Seven days later, the subject line reads “A letter to Students from President Joe Bertolino, re. the Spring Semester.” It’s an email we all knew was coming, but just didn’t want to accept it.
On March 10, the now infamous “shutdown day”, the United States confirmed 283 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total to 1,000. Five deaths were reported, bringing the total to 31.
Now, nine months later, 9.58 million cases later and 234,000 deaths later, we’ve almost made it through our fall semester of college with this “new normal.”
However, as of Nov. 5, CNN headlines read “The US just reported more than 100,000 new COVID-19 infections, the most cases in a single day since pandemic’s start,” making us feel like we’re pretty much in the same place as we were in March – except for the fact that we’re not in a strict lockdown.
With numbers like that, it’s easy to think things like “why are we still on campus?” or “why isn’t the entire state locked down again?”
Well, facts are, we at least know much more about the virus than we did back in March and we’ve learned to operate within its restrictions.
Connecticut’s positivity rate has shot up to above four percent and was as high as six percent within the last few weeks. One of our neighboring universities, Quinnipiac, had made the call to go online through Nov. 6 after announcing an orange level spike in cases.
This came after they sent 20 students home who attended an event at Anthony’s Ocean View Catering – one that some Southern students allegedly attended.
Connecticut has rolled back from phase three to “Phase 2.1” with more capacity restrictions and a “stay-at-home” advisory from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. to encourage people to stop going out – something that college students miss.
It’s clear that the second wave is here, and somewhat luckily, it’s here at a time where we are slowly approaching a shift to an all-remote learning after the last day of classes on Nov. 24.
Still, a lot can happen in the nine days of in-person classes that we have left. But we’re in the homestretch.
As cases grow, it will be critical in these final days to be more mindful, more careful and follow social distancing measures and mask usage to the best of our ability.