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Back in Session: Why College Students Aren't Entirely to Blame for COVID-19 Spikes

In the midst of the current health crisis, we’ve seen a lot of blame-shifting pertaining to the recent COVID spikes. This leaves many wondering who, if anyone, is truly to blame. The media especially seems to suspect that the individual actions of university students are  to blame for the super-spreading hubs across the US. With plenty of campuses shutting down, many see this as a reasonable assumption to make, but others argue that there are different factors at play--namely inadequate government regulations. In her article, Coronavirus Second Wave? Why Cases Increase”, Lisa Marakagis tracks the relationship between COVID-19 policy change and increasing in cases. She states, “Unfortunately, the combination of reopening and lapses in these infection prevention efforts has caused the number of coronavirus infections to rise again.”

From the very beginning, COVID-19 has been politicized, downplayed and racialized by the US government,  especially by  President Donald Trump. The issue didn’t just start in March however. In late 2018, the Trump administration disbanded the only response team capable of handling a pandemic of this caliber. Many Trump supporters will point out that even though the team was disbanded, many officials in the response team still reside within the White House. That however, simply wasn't enough to handle the pandemic. In the past few months, The lack of unity, consistency and transparency -coupled with the blatant racism toward Asian people- within the current administration fueled American exceptionalism, making the public believe that COVID-19 was not an issue in the US . Because of this, we have seen bars, schools and businesses all go “back to normal” while the amount of cases soar. Contrary to what the media may have you believe, it is not just college students, but the general US population and government with their lax mindset causing the massive COVID-19 spikes.

So what can you do?

Well, you can do what we all should have been doing from the beginning: social distancing and taking proper precautions. 

  1. Try to go out as little as possible.
  2. When leaving home, always wear a face mask which covers the nose and mouth.
  3. Wash your hands and check your temperature often.
  4. Refute any form of misinformation about COVID-19 that you either hear in person or see online.
  5. Be patient and be kind. This pandemic sucks a whole lot for a whole lot of people, but the only way we’ll get through it is if we work together!

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