By Karis Fields
Photo: Time – Source
With vaccines for COVID-19 such as Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson out to the general public, the United States has been slowly shifting to what social and public life was like pre-pandemic. Some states have become more lenient in their mask mandates, allowing vaccinated citizens (as well as the occasional unvaccinated) go about their business in public spaces without being required to wear a mask. While places such as grocery stores and restaurants have been more lenient with their policy on masks, most public schools and universities have decided it is best to keep some of these restrictions.
Towards the end of the 2020-2021 academic year, many colleges set up vaccination sites on their campuses. They encouraged students to get the vaccine either then or sometime before the start of the 2021-2022 academic year.
When COVID restrictions in regards to masks were mostly lifted in the summer of 2021, some schools began sending students emails with a survey asking whether or not they got the vaccine attached. For some of these schools, it was a requirement to fill out the survey before arriving in mid-to-late August. Some universities wanted students to fill it out just so they could keep record of how many students enrolled were COVID vaccinated and how many weren’t while others required their students to get the shot and used the survey to know which students were allowed to return to campus. Though some schools have taken these surveys more seriously, others may have used it as a way to play it safe with the public.
For example, a college located along the east coast of the United States had sent out a survey email asking students to confirm whether or not they got the vaccine. This college had already made it official that they were moving learning to being back to fully in person and that they were planning on not requiring students to wear masks anymore, but only if they had the vaccine. The college then continued to mention that they were requiring all students to get the vaccine in order to return to campus and people with health problems were the only exception to this. Some people would have thought that this survey would have required them to have taken a photo of their vaccination card in order to show proof of them receiving their doses of the vaccine. However, upon going to the link, all the survey asks is to select whether or not you have a) gotten the vaccine, b) not gotten the vaccine, or c) plan to get the vaccine within the next couple of months.
Anyone could easily lie on a survey such as this one. Additionally, this university made the last minute decision to require students to wear masks in all indoor areas on campus.
And, while most colleges have been taking precautions both in and out of the classroom, some have not. There are some colleges in the United States who have continued to fund large, public outdoor events. Some of these events include sorority and fraternity life, fairs held on campus, and concerts.
With the same east coast college mentioned before, there was a concert held over the weekend in light of college run fall festivities. This concert was overly crowded, with people standing very close together, and students were not wearing masks.
Concert venues are taking better precautions than some of these colleges are.
Colleges and universities are a cesspool for viruses. While some have been following proper CDC guidelines, others need to get better at it in order to prevent another nationwide outbreak.