Since school started two weeks ago, two things have become clear. First, the UNC administration dropped the ball in organizing and creating a safe environment for classes to resume on campus. Second, some UNC students showed little to no responsibility for controlling the spread of COVID-19.
These two issues go hand-in-hand to contribute to the soaring cases at UNC and in Chapel Hill. The UNC administration relied on faulty assumptions, and enough students chose to ignore social distancing and gathering guidelines. This has led us to a point where we had 91 new cases in just one day last week.
Arguing over who is more responsible is an important conversation to have, but it won’t change our current situation, especially considering there were over 500 new cases last week.
Yes, students are somewhat responsible for spreading the virus. But let's not forget UNC put us in this position to begin with. Regardless, it is time to make some serious changes.
The transition to fully remote instruction and the two-day pause in classes isn't an excuse to become more lax about social distancing and community guidelines — we are in a dangerous phase of transmission.
I'm no public health expert, but the almost daily Alert Carolina messages should be enough to indicate that things are NOT going well. Plus, who knows how many COVID-19 clusters exist off-campus?
The administration wrongly brought us all back here, ignoring professional and scientific recommendations in the process. But somehow, the administration still isn’t prepared to fully acknowledge its role in this disaster. Provost Bob Blouin said, “I don’t apologize for trying,” while the lives of students, faculty, employees and community residents are at stake.
Students: we have to do better.
We can’t change the events of the past two weeks, but we have an active role in shaping what the future will look like in Chapel Hill. In my own life, I can see more and more people getting infected.