October 31, 2020
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Schools should not be open amidst a pandemic

By Ethan Resnik

A video surfaced recently of a party at Cornell University, going against the college’s strict guidelines regarding Covid-19. Cornell University is one of the higher education institutions in the country that chose to reopen in the fall under heavy restrictions and guidelines.

After a long period of quarantine and isolation, students are craving normalcy and any form of social interaction. But colleges and schools that have opened for in-person learning have made a mistake.

It was a mistake for other colleges to open for the fall semester during a pandemic (Instagram).

Our country is still in the middle of a pandemic. This fall a lot of colleges opened for the financial benefit and did not truly prioritize the safety of students. Colleges are a business that generate millions of dollars each year. Losing out on the extra revenue that is charged for room and board is huge. 

Colleges have become hotspots for Covid-19 cases. Many colleges have been forced to send students home after large outbreaks. If we as a country could be more disciplined, we could flatten the curve of the virus instead of having all the work we have done go to waste. 

Many people are acting like the pandemic is over. I know most people don’t like online learning, but it is a valid substitute. You are still getting an education. If all of the country could have continued online learning at home for the first semester, or even the entire year, we could’ve made a huge difference in stopping the spread of the virus.

As mentioned before, at Cornell University a video was posted with college kids crammed in a small dorm without masks. This created a very uncomfortable situation where students felt like “snitches” and had to report their fellow classmates. 

A petition was formed by some other students to get those who threw the party removed from campus. These types of situations are not fun for anyone. It is an extreme challenge for college students to reimagine their social life after months in isolation, and the temptation to hang out with other students is too high.

“‘The biggest concern is that you are going to have newly infected people leave these parties and disperse back into their communities,’” said Dr. Stephen Thomas to The New York Times, an infectious disease specialist at SUNY Upstate Medical University. “It’s that they’re going to be sources for continuing to spread the virus and it’s going to reverse the work that has already been done.”

It was a mistake to open up high schools and colleges during the pandemic. For the safety of students and other potential victims, schools should have remained closed for at least the fall semester. As a country, we need to take responsibility and do the right thing to stop the curve that, for almost seven months, just won’t flatten.

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