Nobody Could Have Predicted

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Students are returning to college campuses for in-person classes and, not surprisingly, hundreds of them are being infected by the coronavirus.

Over 550 people including students and faculty tested positive in just the last week at the University of Alabama and they're not alone.

The University of Alabama on Monday reported more than 550 people across its campuses had tested positive for COVID-19 since it resumed in-person classes on August 19. Most of those infected were students, faculty and staff at the university’s main campus in Tuscaloosa.

Citing a “dramatic increase” in coronavirus cases on campus, the mayor of Tuscaloosa issued an executive order on Monday ordering bars to shut down for 14 days and placing restrictions on other establishments. [...]

The University of Southern California (USC), which resumed education almost entirely online on August 17, on Monday said that more than 100 students at the University Park Campus in Los Angeles were in a 14-day quarantine after exposure to the virus.

Ohio State University, where classes resume on Tuesday, this week issued more than 200 interim suspensions for students following a string of large parties where health and safety rules were largely ignored, according to media reports.

The University of Alabama required testing upon entry which means these infections occurred after they got here, not before. They didn't bring it with them to the campus; they contracted it there.

I'm concerned that if we see another wave of infections in the coming weeks or months, this will be the source.

Most people under a certain age may not develop symptoms or die even if they do, but they will carry the virus back home with them. And most students who are forced to return home may exercise as much caution as they can, but there will be some who don't or who can't.

Students shouldn't have been forced to report to campus only to get infected and be sent back home with it. This was completely avoidable. Businesses are being shut down and sacrificed yet again because of this.

  • muselet

    Predictable as the sunrise, this.

    The son of friends is starting university this year. For a while, the school was planning to have on-campus housing at half-capacity (one person per two-person room), primarily for out-of-state and international students but with the remaining rooms available to local students; in the past few weeks, that plan got binned and only students without alternative local housing options will be allowed to live on-campus. Given the potential for disaster, it was a wise decision. My friends’ son is disappointed he won’t be spending his freshman year in a fully-equipped dorm room of his very own, but he’s smart enough to know the risks far outweigh the rewards.

    Pity the administrators at the University of Alabama aren’t as smart as the administrators at a small liberal arts college in Southern California. Or an 18-year-old.


  • moldilox

    students (of whatever age) constitute acceptable losses, they are not reliable R voters ….