Coronavirus Diary Day 175: September 3, 2020
College Campus “Outbreaks”
Colleges that allowed students back to campus, whether for in-person, virtual, or hybrid classes, are seeing spikes in the number of positive Coronavirus cases amongst the student body. This is leading to a few things: massive quarantines similar to solitary confinement, doxing and snitching amongst student bodies, unconscionable press where young adults are lambasted and berated for their young adult behavior, and perhaps worst of all, kids being sent home to infect their parents with COVID-19. If you don’t know where I stand on all of this, let me be more clear.
When colleges opened their campuses, they did so after many months of preparation and with full knowledge of the consequences. Likewise, parents who sent their children to these colleges also did so after many months of preparation and with full knowledge of the consequences. Then suddenly, after a week of school, everyone went berserk and lost their fucking minds.
My son is a freshman at WVU. He’s living in a dorm with a roommate. Most of his classes are virtual, but two of them meet once per week and offer hybrid options for those who can’t attend in-person. It’s been challenging for him to navigate the huge variety of e-platforms that his professors use (Zoom, eCampus, SOLE, BeyondLabz, Collaborate Ultra, et al), but he’s figuring it out. It’s also been a little stressful, going to school in these strange times, but he’s happy to have the campus experience, despite everything. He’s making friends, enjoying his independence, and taking things in stride.
Me, on the other hand? I’m a tightly wound ball of anxiety, who texts him every two minutes: Did you log into your BIOL class? Don’t forget about your CHEM lab, it’s self-paced! What did you eat for lunch? Are you using the desk calendar I sent you from Amazon? I think you have PSYC homework due today. DO YOUR LAUNDRY BEFORE YOU GET QUARANTINED. Did you eat dinner yet? I ordered Insomnia cookies for you, the white chocolate macadamia is supposed to be delicious! Did you remember to email your NSG professor? LAUNDRY.
He sends me the thumbs up emoji. I sigh, and pour a glass of wine.
But the last thing I’m worried about is COVID-19. When we sent these kids to their college campuses, we knew they were potential super spreaders, and we knew they had a high likelihood of catching the virus. They are young, and most of them are healthy.
Now look, I know some kids have underlying health conditions, or immune disorders, and therefor especially worried parents. I sympathize with this. My son is a cancer survivor, who received a ridiculously high dose of the chemotherapy drug, Vincristine when he was 14 years old. That saved his life, but it did other things too. Guess what? I’m still not worried about COVID-19. That’s just me. If you’re a parent who is worried, I get it. Hopefully, you kept your child home to complete a virtual semester.
Because, kids will be kids. And we shouldn’t put them on blast for being kids.
Additionally, if you’re not the parent of a college student, why are you writing newspaper articles about them, condemning young adults for their “irresponsible” actions? They are accused of putting communities at risk, of acting without regard for humanity, of being the reason their college campuses need to close. Have these accusers actually talked to a teenager or young adult about their feelings regarding the virus? Our kids are blanketed in guilt. They are petrified for their grandparents’ lives. They’ve missed a dozen important milestones in the past 7 months. And now the press is demonizing them.
Stop that right now.
Yesterday, Dr. Fauci urged colleges not to send students home. I wonder about some of the things Fauci says, but this I wholeheartedly agree with. I don’t want my freshman coming anywhere near me until Thanksgiving, not even for his oldest brother’s wedding. Son, you stay right where you are, put your nose to the grindstone, and enjoy whatever you can of this modified college experience.
I trust he’ll do the right thing. The majority of college students are doing their best, and we should praise them for their fortitude and wherewithal before we accuse them of destroying humanity. Some of these college kids (like my college kid) are studying nursing. Some want to be teachers. Some will be scientists, engineers, politicians, business leaders, entrepreneurs, and military officers. For goodness sakes, no one knows what they are going through right now. We can’t walk in their shoes.
The next time I see someone dox a college kid for not wearing a mask while crossing the street, I’m literally going to lose my shit.
In fact, a lot of people are losing their shit right now. Remember a few months back when I predicted an unstoppable wave of violence headed our way? Yeah, we’re there, my friends. And it’s going to get worse. I don’t like talking about it, because it gives me agita, so I’ll keep this short. Here’s a small list of the issues currently making Americans crazy: The impending election, politics in general, BLM, unemployment, riots, law enforcement, masks, virtual classrooms, and of course, college kids. Also, let’s not forget the Coronavirus as a whole, which still causes people to blow their tops.
I don’t have a strong opinion on any of those aforementioned items, with the exception of college kids. And statistics. I do, in fact, have a very strong opinion about the way we report our statistics. But, I’ll save that for my next post.
Hang on, I got a text!
“apparently the confetti deluxe cookie is rly good from insomnia”