COVID-19 safety measures on campus

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Should we start taking bets on how much longer it’ll be before the university decides to start charging for each mask? Lee Lim

All around us people are living as if the pandemic is over, or even never was

Fall is a season I always look forward to. It symbolizes a new beginning. The weather is cool and crisp. The sun sets early, and my surroundings are plastered with orange, crispy leaves that feel nice when I step on them.

Returning to campus has been an interesting experience. The first thing I always notice is how many people are not wearing masks. It is not my intention to judge anyone. However, I can’t help but feel as though people are going on with life as if the pandemic is over, and not an ongoing issue. I have literally witnessed some people coughing, clearly sick, but STILL not wearing masks. I just don’t understand why someone would not wear a mask if they have a cold. I had a cold over the summer and I consistently wore my mask because I feel like it is disrespectful to be coughing all over the place without a mask on. I wanted to do as much as I could in order to protect my family and friends from getting a cold (at least) from me.

As soon as mask requirements were dropped, many stopped wearing them. I can understand that. On one hand, masks can be uncomfortable. But for me personally, wearing a mask daily is a reflex at this point. It is second nature. I am blessed that I have never had COVID, and I aim to keep that COVID-free streak going as far as I can.

The great thing is that there were COVID-19 booster shots available in September throughout the university’s vaccination clinics across campus. I love that it is something that is easily accessible for students on campus. As someone who lives all the way on the other side of the city, I am always at the university, so it has been easier for me to access booster shots. On top of that, the Mental Wellness Hub is a great mental health digital resource where students can have access to mental health support, wellness related information, prevention programs, and online training and workshops.

The pandemic has had great impact on all of us. It is important to understand that there is always help available if you are in need of it. There is no shame in that. It’s not something you should feel guilty about. Needing help does not make you weak; rather, it makes you strong. These resources are available so we can take advantage of them and make use of them. They were established to serve students. We are paying thousands in tuition each semester. It is our right to get as much use of the resources available to us as we can.

The reality is that as students, life during a pandemic is still something that we are learning to navigate. It is not easy. None of us have ever experienced anything like this. Luckily, it comes with more knowledge and education as more time goes by. When we know better, we do better. It is important to take the proper measurements to stay safe in these times. Life is incredibly taxing for many of us. It is important to prioritize ourselves and our mental health as well as physical well-being. We at least owe that to ourselves.

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