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Enforce the guidelines on COVID

By Kylee Weber
On August 28, 2020

Graphic by Kylee Weber

The year 2020 has been crazy for everyone. COVID-19 continues to impact our lives at Ottawa University. Coming to campus this year, a lot of things look different. For example, we have to do daily check-ins, wear masks and limit exposure to others. However, the big question is, are we following these guidelines?


After spending three weeks on campus, I began to notice the guidelines start to fall through the cracks with students and faculty. There are large groups of students huddled around without a mask. Many avoid the daily screening process which consists of several questions, a temperature check and receiving a wrist band. The original guidelines state that to be present on campus and attend class and other activities, you must be wearing the specific wristband for that day. I notice students skipping this process entirely due to the lack of time before class that they have. Where is the enforcement of these rules and guidelines? 


Some faculty members have taken the COVID-19 guidelines seriously. Others have not. If a faculty member notices a lack of wrist band, they are supposed to direct the student to the screening station and not let him/her continue in their original activity. 


Another guideline that Ottawa University has put into place for the fall semester is to limit exposure and social distance. This has become difficult for everyone to accomplish. Due to the limited seating in areas, social distancing cannot occur like we hoped. I have sat in a classroom with 43 students where no social distancing has occurred. The students and faculty are supposed to limit exposure to no more than 15 minutes. This has been a difficult guideline due to the lack of social distancing and classes occurring. The big picture here is that these guidelines have the potential to help students remain healthy … but only if they are enforced and followed. 


It is difficult to think about our health being controlled by another person. Don’t get me wrong, we can help limit the curve by washing our hands, limiting interaction and wearing masks. But we as students cannot control other students. If someone is near us not wearing a mask, we cannot scream or yell at them to put their mask on.


There are multiple factors that the faculty and school need to think about when it comes to our safety during COVID-19. Ottawa University began the school year strong with enforcing these rules, however, as time went on, these enforcements became less frequent. As a school, we each need to remember that it is not just our personal health that we are putting in danger, it is the health of others, too. 


COVID-19 is not over. It will continue to rise over time. The only way to stop the spread of it is to follow these guidelines, enforce these guidelines and stay safe. Think of others, not just yourself. 


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