If you’re reading this editorial, you probably know or know of at least five people who have gotten COVID-19 since the semester started. For some of you, that may even be a lowball.
Professors, students and university staff have all gotten sick over the first few weeks of the semester, at a pretty alarming rate. Everyone on this campus has either personally gotten COVID, or knows at least one person who has. And that’s not even counting the other illnesses that have been going around campus, some of which have convinced community members that they’ve gotten COVID.
We as a society are in a sort of post-COVID transitional stage. In some ways, it’s becoming normalized for everyone in the same way that other seasonal illnesses are—now, you get your yearly flu shot and your updated COVID booster. But still, the name COVID instills a specific kind of fear in us that we’ve kept as a holdover from the pandemic era.
This COVID comeback, as we on the editorial board have named it, has been quite disruptive to the Brandeis community. Some of our editors haven’t been able to go a week in the last month without at least one class being moved to Zoom—a fun 2021 throwback. Even in-person classes are often fitted to the hybrid format, with one or two students having to attend virtually. Many students are also now hesitant to attend social events for fear of catching COVID—life in and out of class is filled with extra stress, which to put it lightly is not really what students need during this period in the semester when the workload really begins to ramp up.
All this to say, this isn’t a very good situation for anyone to be in. Students’ and faculty’s daily lives are being upended to various degrees for something that the world seems to have moved on from and now ignores. In fact, and very importantly, despite COVID being relegated to being “The Flu 2.0,” it is still a danger for some more vulnerable members of our community. Immunocomprised and disabled students are at a much higher risk of serious harm from this COVID wave and should absolutely be taken into account.
So when you’re out around campus in the coming weeks, just make sure you’re careful. Wash your hands, wear a mask if you can and be smart—you are a Brandeis student, after all.